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ARGENTINA | 27-05-2024 15:39

Body found in search for 19-year-old German tourist who went missing in western Argentina

Nineteen-year-old Julia Horn was last seen on May 23 when she was out trekking at Cerro Tres Marías in San Juan; Provincial authorities confirm discovery of body but are awaiting confirmation from autopsy, family.

A young German tourist who went missing last Thursday while hiking on the Cerro Tres Marías trail in western San Juan Province has been found dead, according to provincial authorities.

Julia Horn, 19, was last seen on May 23. After several days of search and rescue teams scouring the area, provincial authorities confirmed Monday (May 27) that a body had been spotted by a team onboard a helicopter.

Bad weather had previously prevented rescue helicopters from searching the area thoroughly. 

Daniela Pringles, one of the lead prosecutors investigating the case confirmed that “staff from the special crime unit and the police went over to hoist the body” and airlift it away.

“It coincides with the young woman’s features, but it remains to be seen what the autopsy will say,” she specified.

Pringles later told the C5N news channel that Horn’s parents, who arrived in the area on Monday, had been notified of the discovery.

“We must cautiously tell the parents the high likelihood that it is Julia, but we must also ask them to be patient,” informed Ignacio Achem, another investigator.

Security camera footage recorded on May 23 showed Horn getting off a bus, crossing a road and passing by a police checkpoint. 

The young German, who was a student exchange volunteer with the Youth for Understanding (YFU)  NGO, was wearing a coat and carried a backpack and a mobile phone in her hand. 

Police and provincial authorities say the weather was particularly rough last Thursday, with rain and heavy fog. 

Investigators do not believe foul play contributed to Horn’s likely death and speculate the woman may have had an accident while out walking. 

Another prosecutor in the case, Iván Grassi, told C5N that the main working hypothesis is that of an accident. The trail she took was very demanding, he explained, while weather conditions were adverse and Horn was travelling solo.

"It was a very cold day, it was raining. It was not at all advisable and much less alone," Grassi said.


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