A Connecticut woman who was seen hiking the Kumano Kodo Trail in Japan about two weeks ago is helping the US State Department and the FBI search for her, her husband said.
Patricia “Patty” Wu-Murad, 60, was reported missing by Japanese authorities on April 10 after she failed to arrive when expected at the Taiyo-no-yu guesthouse hostel in Osaka and the US Embassy informed his family on 14 April. After a 72-hour search by Japanese rescuers.
“It’s been unbearably difficult,” her husband Kirk Murad told the New York Post on Friday.
Murad, who went to Japan to help with the search, said his family also hired a private investigation team, which told them Japanese authorities still had more than two dozen people looking for him.
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He added, “Police have 30 people on the trail, helicopters, dogs… We know they have multiple teams for the next several days.” “We have one goal: We want to bring Patty home alive.”
Wu-Murad is described as an experienced hiker who has trekked all over the world.
“We’re starting to help out a few more people. With so many teams out there, we hope to have something come out in the next few days,” he said.
He said his daughter Murphy is “running a major search and rescue operation” and has helped raise nearly $130,000 as of Friday through crowdfunding to continue the search.
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Murphy said in an update on the family’s GoFundMe that Japanese investigators initially called off the search on April 13 because they had no new leads, but resumed it on Tuesday after everyone’s best efforts. reopened.
“The police have told us that their process is three days… After that, they expect the families who lost their loved ones… to pay for it themselves. So we have hired [private company] Mountain Works as soon as possible,” Murad told the Post. with support from the US Embassy and [Connecticut Sen. Richard Blumenthal] And my daughter’s way of saying ‘Hey, it’s my mom’… They’re back there.
Blumenthal told Fox 62 this week that he had spoken to her family and said he was “determined to seek every possible source of search and rescue to assist her.”
He told the station, “I have reached out to the State Department and the White House for help and will continue to assist the Murad family through every means available.” “I am deeply concerned and praying for Patty’s safe return to her family.”
He said he is also talking to Apple in an attempt to recover data from his phone, which family members believe has now run out of battery.
In her GoFundMe update, Murphy said her mother had been using her father’s Google Maps on his hikes, and he allowed the CIA access to that data.
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Kirk told WVIT-TV this week, “My wife is a very experienced hiker and there’s nothing on this particular hike that’s extreme. It’s very wild. It’s very steep.” “There are probably two or three spots where she’ll stop to take a picture because she likes to stop and take in the scenery. And in those spots, there were some big drop-offs, but we’ve discovered those spots and there’s her There’s no sign,” Kirk Murad said.
He added to the post, “Our Mountain Works people say this is more of an incident than an accident… meaning something freaky happened. Meaning she went off the road, or she got stuck in a stream, or something. “
He said he also asked Japanese authorities to launch a criminal investigation over concerns that she may have been the victim of a crime.
Not that we have any doubts, but we just want to open up all the avenues because really, right now, she has disappeared from the earth. We don’t know how,” he said.
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