Body of missing hiker found in Ecuador

By Jennifer Lipman, August 15, 2011

The body of a German Jewish backpacker has been found in a river in Ecuador more than a week after he went missing while on a hike.

Friends and family of Jonathan Simon, from Munich, launched an internet campaign to help with the search. More than 4,300 people joined a Facebook group, while alerts were posted on travel forums such as Trip Advisor.

The 21-year-old was travelling with a friend when he disappeared along the trail of Ecuador's Pastaza River on August 6.

The pair had split up and arranged to meet later at a specific spot, but Mr Simon never arrived.

It is thought he fell off a footbridge while attempting to cross the river.

Israeli rescue workers flew to Ecuador to help with search efforts.

On Saturday evening, a spokesman for the family wrote on the Facebook group: "Unfortunately we have to announce that Jonathan´s dead body was found tonight.

"Jonny would be astonished to see how many people - family, friends and many strangers - have come together and put their personal matters aside for this cause.

"You have been in the minds of thousands the last week and you will never be forgotten."

Last updated: 2:00pm, August 15 2011