Bones may solve mystery of missing Death Valley tourists

Discussion in 'OFF-Topic / Misc.' started by syscom3, Nov 14, 2009.

  1. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

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    I've been in this part of Death Valley. Even with a 4WD truck, I saw how bad the dirt road conditions were and didnt venture any further. And that was in the spring when it wasn't too hot, let alone 115 degree temps.

    Bones may solve mystery of missing Death Valley tourists -- latimes.com

    Rental van was found with four flat tires, but searchers never located four German visitors who disappeared in 1996.
    By Teresa Watanabe

    A 13-year-old mystery involving the disappearance of four German tourists in the sweltering desert of Death Valley may have ended Friday, when authorities announced that bones that may be their skeletal remains had been found.

    In a statement, Inyo County Undersheriff Jim Jones said that personal identification belonging to one of the tourists was found near the skeletal remains, which were discovered by two hikers Thursday in a remote area of Death Valley National Park.

    The four tourists -- Cornelia Meyer, 28; her 4-year-old son, Max; Egbert Rimkus, 33; and his son, Georg Weber, 10 vanished in July 1996, when temperatures at the park reached 115 degrees. The Dresden residents had been touring the Southwest and had not been seen since signing a visitor register at the Warm Springs area at the southwestern end of the park.

    Three months after disappearing, their dark green minivan, which was rented at Los Angeles International Airport, was found in Anvil Spring Canyon. All four tires were flat and tire tracks indicated that the group had driven on shredded tires and bent wheels for about two miles, authorities said then.

    Only a beer can and other debris were found near the van.

    Although no foul play is suspected, Inyo County sheriff's spokeswoman Carma Roper told the Associated Press that the discovery was being handled as a criminal investigation.

    She added that it would take a long time to formally identify the remains and determine the cause of death.

    Authorities have searched throughout the years but failed to undercover any further evidence until this week.
     
  2. Vassili Zaitzev

    Vassili Zaitzev Well-Known Member

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    Interesting. I think they were ill equipped to go into Death Valley, correct me if I'm wrong. When the van finally crapped out, why didn't they walk back on the road they were using?
     
  3. B-17engineer

    B-17engineer Active Member

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    I don't know.

    A mini-van and Death Valley aren't meant for one another...
     
  4. vikingBerserker

    vikingBerserker Well-Known Member

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    That's probably a question that will never be answered.
     
  5. beaupower32

    beaupower32 Well-Known Member

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    hopefully they will finally get a proper funeral.
     
  6. GrauGeist

    GrauGeist Well-Known Member

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    People that aren't familiar with the area can die fast...

    The desert is an amazing place to visit, but people need to remember that it's an extremely harsh and unforgiving environment, and need to have survival gear with them just as if they were going to the antarctic.
     
  7. wheelsup_cavu

    wheelsup_cavu Well-Known Member

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    The only thing I can think of is that they thought it was shorter to venture through than to turn back.
    Another huge mistake was leaving the van.


    Wheels
     
  8. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

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    Maybe they stayed with the van and simply gave up after no one came looking. After all, this happened in summer and nobody would be around this area for good reason. This will forever remain one of the mysteries of Death Valley.
     
  9. wheelsup_cavu

    wheelsup_cavu Well-Known Member

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    Probably true but when they left the van their odds of being found dropped dramatically.
    Not sure how long I would have stayed with the van either, even knowing it represents the best chance of being found.


    Wheels
     
  10. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

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    I dont think they knew anything about desert survival. They were from Germany, on a tourist outing.
     
  11. wheelsup_cavu

    wheelsup_cavu Well-Known Member

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    I saw that in the article Sys.
    It's a definite shame for all of them that it happened.
    We take it for granted that being in a car makes us safe, which in several instances is the farthest thing from the truth.


    Wheels
     
  12. phas3e

    phas3e Member

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    Yeah tourists can die in even the safest looking areas.

    In my part of NZ the dominant feature is our mountain Its fully tracked and marked yet every year tourists die up there from not being prepared for unexpected weather changes. Its claimed mor lives than any other mountain in New Zealand

    **and just as im writing this its reported in the news that another person has dies up there but this time a guy with more than 50 accents up there.
     
  13. comiso90

    comiso90 Active Member

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    What they did was tantamount to a going on a sight seeing dive in south africa w/o a cage to look at the cool sharks.

    Darwinism once again skims the gene pool.

    .
     
  14. Marcel

    Marcel Well-Known Member

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    "4 year old son" :(
     
  15. comiso90

    comiso90 Active Member

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    I didnt see that part.... ouch

    .
     
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