Kris Kremers and
Lisanne Froon, 22, was described as aspiring, optimistic, intelligent, and a passionate volleyball player, and Kris Kremers, 21, as open, creative, and responsible. They both saved up money for six months and planned to go to Panama together on a special trip to learn Spanish, as well as to do something of significance for the locals, particularly volunteering with children. The trip was also supposed to be a reward to Froon for graduating.
Kremers and Froon arrived in Panama for a six-week vacation on March 15, 2014. They toured Panama for two weeks before arriving in Boquete on March 29 to live with a local family for a month while volunteering with children. On April 1 they went hiking with their hosts' dog around 11:00 am near the clouded forests that surrounded the Baru volcano, possibly the trail of Pianista, not far from Boquete. They wrote on Facebook that they intended to walk around Boquete, and it was reported that they had been seen having brunch with two young Dutch men before they embarking on the trail.
Their hosts became alarmed when their dog returned home alone that night without the young women. Froon's parents stopped receiving text messages, which both women had been sending to their families daily. On the morning of April 2 Froon and Kremers missed an appointment with a local guide. On April 3 authorities began aerial searches of the forest and local residents began searching as well. On April 6, the parents of Kremers and Froon arrrived in Panama along with police, dog units, and detectives from the Netherlands to do a full-scale search of the forests for ten days. The parents offered a $30,000 reward
Some ten weeks later, a local woman turned in Froon's blue backpack, which she said she had found in a rice paddy by a riverbank near her village of Alto Romero, in the Bocas del Toro region; she said she was sure it had not been there the day before. The backpack contained two pairs of sunglasses, $83 in cash, Froon's passport, a water bottle, Froon's camera, two bras, and the women's phones – all packed, dry, and in good condition. The women's phones showed that for some hours after the start of their hike someone had dialed 112 (the emergency number in the Netherlands) and 911 (the emergency number in Panama).
The first distress call had been made just hours after beginning their hike: one from Kremers's iPhone at 04:39 pm and shortly after that, one from Froon's Samsung Galaxy at 04:51 pm. None of the calls had gone through due to a lack of reception in the area except for one 911 call attempt on April 3 that lasted for a little over a second before breaking up. After April 5, Froon's phone battery became exhausted after 05:00 am and was not used again. Kremers's iPhone would not make any more calls either but was intermittently turned on to search for reception. After April 6, multiple attempts of a false PIN code were entered into the iPhone; it never received the correct code again.
Froon's camera contained photos from April 1 suggesting that the women had taken a trail at the overlook of the Continental Divide and wandered into some wilderness hours before their first attempt to reach 911, but with no signs of anything unusual. On April 8 ninety flash photos were taken between 01:00 am and 04:00 am, apprently deep in the jungle and in near-complete darkness. A few photos show that they were possibly near a river or a ravine. Some show a twig with plastic bags and candy wrappers on top of a rock, another shows what looks like toilet paper and a mirror on another rock, and another shows the back of Kremers's head with what possibly looks like blood by her temple.
UNPLEASANT FACT: There's a zombie fungus that basically enslaves ants for its own benefit until it kills them.
And now, a story.
I was 16, hiking in New Zealand with my dad. We were walking out from a hut and had to cross a river to get to the next hut, unfortunately it had rained quite heavily the night before and was still drizzling so the river had risen a lot. We stared crossing at the widest slowest moving point we could find, the water was still moving really quickly though, we start crossing and about half way across we hit a really deep section, I'm struggling against the water and I see my dad get washed away, now not only am I'm I fighting the current to keep myself from getting washed away, I'm alone and I can't see my dad, I was freaking out but got hit with a (I assume a load of adrenaline) calmness, pulled myself together got out, dropped my pack sprinted down the rocks to find my dad, got him away from the water, luckily he was alright and walked to the hut.
Although this was the most scared I've been it gave me a respect for the power of nature that I never had before and taught me I can rely on myself when I'm in a pinch.