Author Topic: Death in Panama: the mystery of Kris Kremers and Lisanne Froon  (Read 526 times)

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Offline Steve_uk

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Re: Death in Panama: the mystery of Kris Kremers and Lisanne Froon
« Reply #30 on: January 24, 2021, 01:09:AM »
A fall into the river canyon below “would’ve been extremely concerning, and possibly even fatal,” Weil says, with the victim likely being swept dozens of meters downstream over large boulders with the current.

Hauntingly, the outline of the cable bridge appears center-frame in one of the most carefully composed of the recovered photos. In the foreground of the same image is the makeshift trail marker—with one branch pointing across the cables, and the other angled straight downstream.

Boquete’s top guide, Plinio Montenegro, knows first-hand how risky these three-cable “bridges” can be.

“You’re always afraid to cross them,” he says. “The top cables move and throw you off balance. Even the indigenous sometimes die on those bridges.”

Offline Steve_uk

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Re: Death in Panama: the mystery of Kris Kremers and Lisanne Froon
« Reply #31 on: January 24, 2021, 01:10:AM »
Backing up Plinio’s claims, search parties dragging the Culebra for Kris and Lisanne also identified remains from at least three other individuals whose DNA revealed indigenous ancestry.

“When an indigena dies in the river, they don’t even report it,” Plinio says. “And even if they did, the authorities wouldn’t do anything about it anyway.”

When I show some of the leaked night photos to the guides around Boquete, they each independently identify the same spot on the map.

That site is about three miles from Boquete, on the western bank of a powerful tributary that helps form the headwaters of the Serpent River.

From the Continental Divide, where the last tourist photos were made, the spot is straight downhill all the way.

Wilderness Medicine program director Weil thinks the women might have been following a commonly preached tenet of survivalist dogma—which in this case got them in trouble.

Offline Steve_uk

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Re: Death in Panama: the mystery of Kris Kremers and Lisanne Froon
« Reply #32 on: January 24, 2021, 01:10:AM »
“You can’t always follow a river downstream when you’re lost,” says Weil. “Some rivers can be death traps, especially if the country is steep and you get trapped down in there.”

A better strategy, says Weil, would have been to seek out the highest point of elevation, and attempt to use their cell phones from there.

Kris and Lisanne might have come to this realization themselves—only a little too late.

Once they started downhill into the steeply angled watershed, it might have been difficult for them to turn around, “even if they had wanted to,” Weil concludes.

Offline Steve_uk

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Re: Death in Panama: the mystery of Kris Kremers and Lisanne Froon
« Reply #33 on: January 24, 2021, 01:11:AM »
Dr. Kathy Reichs—world-famous forensic anthropologist, best-selling author and creator of the popular TV show “Bones”—also agreed to weigh-in on the case.

Like the other forensics experts consulted, Reichs also considers foul play unlikely:

“In my opinion accidental death is the most probable considering all the factors and findings,” says Reichs, in an email to The Daily Beast. She goes on to clear up several other formerly puzzling questions related to the case.

For example, critics of the official “accident scenario” have pointed to inconsistencies in the rate of decay reported for the found remains, such as a fragment of Kris’s rib showing signs of “bleaching”—while a flap of Lisanne’s skinsurvived intact.

Offline Steve_uk

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Re: Death in Panama: the mystery of Kris Kremers and Lisanne Froon
« Reply #34 on: January 24, 2021, 01:12:AM »




Reichs does not find this extraordinary.

“A rainforest habitat means many micro-environments,” she explains. “Decomposition can occur quite rapidly in some [micro-environments],” but due to factors like variance in river current, flora growing on the banks, and transport by scavengers, “preservation or decomposition of various body parts can occur at a different rates.”

Exposed regions on sandbars or along the banks also receive more sunlight, which could account for the observed bone bleaching after the soft tissue is sloughed off.

The extreme fragmentation of the remains doesn’t surprise Reichs either.

“With bodies decomposing in water, dismemberment follows typical patterns with the head and limbs detaching first,” says Reichs, whose next novel, The Bone Collection, will be out November 1, 2016.

“Further damage from animal scavenging can be very diverse due to multiple transport modes: avian, fish, turtle, crab, small and large carnivores, etcetera,” she says.
« Last Edit: January 24, 2021, 01:12:AM by Steve_uk »

Offline Steve_uk

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Re: Death in Panama: the mystery of Kris Kremers and Lisanne Froon
« Reply #35 on: January 24, 2021, 01:13:AM »
Despite confidence in her conclusions, Dr. Reichs says some forensic mysteries surrounding the case do still warrant further investigation—such as the fact that Panama’s national coroner reported that he failed to detect any abrasions or trauma during a microscopic examination of the remains.

“I would expect to see damage due to animal scavenging,” says Reichs, but she also raises a powerful point that might trump such minor anomalies:

Why would any criminal or criminals “leave cash, a passport, and electronics in the back pack?”

Offline Steve_uk

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Re: Death in Panama: the mystery of Kris Kremers and Lisanne Froon
« Reply #36 on: January 24, 2021, 01:14:AM »
A last piece of forensic evidence, uncovered late in this investigation, might hold an important clue as to Lisanne’s fate.

Frank van de Goot, a Dutch physician who worked on the case, told The Daily Beast that the final examination of the bones of Lisanne Froon’s left foot, which were found intact and inside her boot, showed multiple fractures of the metatarsals, the long bones that connect the ankle to the toes.

According to the official necropsy reports, those fractures could only have been caused by a “fall from a high place.”

Based on the evidence unearthed in this investigation, it seems highly likely that Lisanne attempted to hike out of the Serpent-River canyon system. In order to reach safety, Lisanne would have had to cross several other branches of the Culebra headwaters before she would have come to the Ngobe village of Alto Romero.

Offline Steve_uk

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Re: Death in Panama: the mystery of Kris Kremers and Lisanne Froon
« Reply #37 on: January 24, 2021, 01:15:AM »
“You could say they both did an amazing job against impossible odds,” concludes survival expert Weil, who also describes Lisanne’s actions in her last days and perhaps hours as “impressively brave” under “truly terrible circumstances.”

“Based on the evidence," Weil says, it seems Lisanne "didn’t just sit down and shrivel up and wait to starve."

Offline Steve_uk

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Re: Death in Panama: the mystery of Kris Kremers and Lisanne Froon
« Reply #38 on: January 24, 2021, 01:15:AM »
About two months after the disappearance, search parties discovered Kris Kremers’s stonewashed jean shorts lying on a narrow bit of land between two fast-flowing and powerful tributaries.

The Ngobe who recovered the shorts claimed to have found them zipped and folded and set on a rock high above the water line—on the opposite, or eastern, bank of the tributary from where the night photos were made.

If that report is correct, it means at least one of the women—probably Lisanne—made it across the first, westernmost river crossing depicted in the night photos. Kris’s jean shorts, according to Weil, might well have been placed at the crossing as a marker, a tactic he’s encountered before in similar, lost-hiker scenarios.

Offline Steve_uk

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Re: Death in Panama: the mystery of Kris Kremers and Lisanne Froon
« Reply #39 on: January 24, 2021, 01:16:AM »
From that point the trail leads over another dangerous cable bridge, and two more rickety plank swing-bridges, before reaching the Ngobe village of Alto Romero on the banks of the Culebra.

Lisanne’s backpack would be found not far from Alto Romero, washed up on the river bank—and just a few kilometers downstream from Kris’s shorts.

In the flats between those finger-like river gorges are several semi-abandoned Ngobe structures which might have provided shelters for the kind of “last camps” victims often seek before they’re immobilized by hunger and the elements.

Lisanne’s remains would be found two months later, as were those of her best friend and university roommate, both upstream and downstream from Romero. For that to happen—and assuming foul play is ruled out—she would have had to perish in or very close to the same spot in the river that claimed Kris.

Offline Steve_uk

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Re: Death in Panama: the mystery of Kris Kremers and Lisanne Froon
« Reply #40 on: January 24, 2021, 01:17:AM »
“Some people wouldn’t have even tried to cross over and get out,” Weil says.

Lisanne was an athlete, and her fitness and hand-eye coordination would have helped her negotiate those so-called monkey bridges, which Weil likens to those used in military boot camps worldwide. A week of hunger and exposure, however, would have “impacted her muscle control and motor skills.”

Offline Steve_uk

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Re: Death in Panama: the mystery of Kris Kremers and Lisanne Froon
« Reply #41 on: January 24, 2021, 01:17:AM »
A fall from any of the bridges over these river-canyon tributaries could have led to Lisanne's remains being strewn along the Culebra itself. But the most likely culprit might be the very next cable crossing, to the east of where the night photos were made. A fall from that bridge wouldn't necessarily have been fatal in itself, but if indeed she broke her foot or injured herself seriously in any fashion, weakened as she was, that would have made it almost impossible for Lisanne to proceed down the trail, and stranded her in the river system. When the iPhone was turned on for the last time, on April 11, that may have been her final effort to get some kind of assistance, knowing she could no longer hope to get out on her own power.


Offline Steve_uk

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Re: Death in Panama: the mystery of Kris Kremers and Lisanne Froon
« Reply #42 on: January 24, 2021, 01:18:AM »
There is a tale told among the local Ngobe that the ghostly, keening cries of the holandesas can still be heard to echo through the canyons above the Rio Culebra in early April, when the rainy season begins.

That, of course, is just superstition—another of the many incredible fictions and vicious rumors swirling around this case.

“I hope people understand what really happened, and don’t blame Boquete,” says ace guide Plinio, the last time I meet with him.

Plinio led a police search party to the headwaters of the Culebra, arriving on or about April 12, just a day after Kris Kremers’ iPhone was powered on for the very last time, according to the leaked phone log.

Some will always choose to believe Kris and Lisanne were victims of a criminal assault, or even a supernatural event. Others pin the tragedy, far more convincingly, on Panamanian authorities’ delayed and haphazard search efforts.

Offline Steve_uk

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Re: Death in Panama: the mystery of Kris Kremers and Lisanne Froon
« Reply #43 on: January 24, 2021, 01:18:AM »
A few of the guides I’ve spoken to in Boquete even fault themselves, because they were unable to find or save the women. A source close to the families says they still yearn for answers—and closure—having only accepted authorities’ account for lack of further recourse.

But Plinio—who knows the dangers and the beauty of the cloud forests as well as anyone—calls this a story with no real villain.

“The only thing to blame,” he says, “is the jungle itself.”

Nadette De Visser in Amsterdam also contributed reporting to this story.

Offline Steve_uk

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Re: Death in Panama: the mystery of Kris Kremers and Lisanne Froon
« Reply #44 on: January 26, 2021, 06:43:PM »
I had one theory going around in my head before I watched the following video, which tallies with part of it. Supposing the tour guide Feliciano Gonzalez (the guy with the machete) turned up unexpectedly on the Tuesday afternoon. He walked some way with the girls in an attempt to reassure them and even encouraged them to travel a little further than they wished on the pretext that he was familiar with the route. When one of the girls (let's say Kris) is navigating the monkey bridge he pushes her off, a fall which kills her, then proceeds to sexually exploit Lisanne, who is a sitting duck. He then leaves her to fend for herself, removes the key from the backpack and makes his way back to the accommodation in Boquete, where he switches on the computer and deletes a photo of himself. He then joins the search party knowing that in all probability by the time she is found it will be too late. https://youtu.be/6of8b79oAFg
« Last Edit: January 26, 2021, 07:22:PM by Steve_uk »