Chicago Grad Student Missing in Costa Rica

Parents join search efforts

Sunday, Aug 16, 2009  |  Updated 11:08 AM CDT
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Chicago Grad Student Missing in Costa Rica

Gimelfarb vanished after leaving a hotel to go hiking in the Guanacaste province of Costa Rica.

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The Highland Park parents of 28-year-old graduate student David Gimelfarb are searching their son after he disappeared while hiking in Costa Rica.

The doctoral student who went to South America a week ago was last seen by a park ranger about 10 a.m. on August 11. Gimelfarb was reportedly driving a rented sport-utility vehicle the Parque National Rincon de la Vieja, friend Michael Kipnes told Chicago Breaking NewsHis parents, Roma and Luda Gimelfarb, have flown to Costa Rica to look for him.

"He [Roma] was OK," Kipnis said about his conversation with David's parents. "She's not holding up very well."

David Gimelfarb graduated from Highland Park High School and Beloit College in Wisconsin. He has been studying psychology at the Adler School of Professional Psychology. 

He was staying at the Hotel Guachipelin in Guanacaste province, according to a Costa Rican police report. Roma Gimelfarb was unable to reach his son by phone on August 12 and was told by the hotel that David had gone hiking the day before but had not returned, according to the police report.

The local Red Cross had begun a search when the parents reached Costa Rica Thursday. The vehicle he rented was found locked in the park, the police report said. The dense forest and rain have impacted their search. 

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