On September 24, Jesse Galganov left his home in Montreal for an eight-month backpacking trip throughout South America and Southeast Asia.
Four days later, Galganov told his mother, Alisa Clamen, that he wouldn’t be able to contact her for a few days, as he was planning to hike the Santa Cruz trail, a 50-kilometer hike that typically takes three to four days. Galganov said he would reach out to her after October 2. Neither Clamen nor any of Jesse’s friends have heard from him since. Clamen has also said she doesn’t think Jesse had enough equipment to hike for longer than that.
On October 15, Clamen posted the following to her son’s Facebook account: “This is Alisa, Jesse’s mother, using his Facebook account to post a message on his account and his behalf. If anyone reading this has had contact with Jesse in the last few weeks, please reach out to me immediately at email@example.com. Thank you.”
Police in Peru have been investigating the 22-year-old’s disappearance. Search parties are attempting to locate his whereabouts.
Here’s what we know:
1. He Was Last Seen Exiting a Bus in Huaraz
According to the Montreal Gazette, security camera footage from the morning of Sept. 28 shows Jesse getting off a Cruz del Sur Bus at Huaraz around 6:30 am and walking towards a hostel called the Kame House, where he’d made a reservation for that night.
There are conflicting reports about Jesse’s stay at the hostel. According to the Montreal Gazette, certain witnesses, at first, said Galganov stayed at the hostel. They then said he wasn’t there. NBC, meanwhile, reports that employees have given various reports regarding when Jesse arrived and left the hospital. The local DA is conducting a criminal investigation.
There is no record of Galganov registering at the start of the Santa Cruz trail. A cell tower received a signal from Jesse’s phone at 4:18am on September 29. The Montreal Gazette reports that local police are waiting for an expert from Lima to arrive and determine the phone signal’s location.
2. Friends Describe Him as an ‘Experienced Traveler and Excellent Communicator’
Friends tell NBC that they were communicating with Jesse through messaging and Snapchat until September 28. After that, communication stopped.
Julien Miller, a high school friend of Jesse’s, tells NBC, “[Jesse] is an experienced traveler and an excellent communicator… We have to assume that if he had access to communication, he would contact us.”
3. His Mother Has Gone to Peru to Search for Him
On Tuesday, Alisa Clamen, Jesse’s mother, flew to Peru to aid authorities in the search for her son. She also contacted the Peruvian Embassy, Canadian Embassy, and American Embassies.
Clamen tells the Montreal Gazette that the Peruvian government and police are “taking the case seriously.”
She adds on:
I am the best option for finding my son. It’s grueling — it’s terrible — and I break down and sob every once in a while, but I don’t give myself that luxury very often because I need to stay focused.
4. His Mother Filed a Missing Persons Report with the US State Department on October 14
According to NBC News, Clamen filed a missing persons report with the US State Department on October 14.
“It’s one thing to want to be off the grid for a few days while you’re trekking, but Jesse’s a very conscientious and a very responsible kid, and he knows he has a family and he has friends who love him,” Clamen tells the Montreal Gazette. “He’s not a kid who would ever do this intentionally, so it resonated as, ‘Something’s wrong. Something’s wrong.”‘
5. He Was Set to Begin Medical School at Thomas Jefferson University Next Fall
Galganov was planning on attending medical school next fall at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia. He is a dual citizen of Canada and the US.
Jesse had booked a return bus ticket for October 2, which he did not use. He also booked a flight to Bolivia on October 5 that was not used. Clamen’s post on Jesse’s Facebook has been shared over 300 times as of Saturday night.
Galganov is 5’10” and about 170lb. A Twitter page has also been created to help find Jesse.
Anyone with information is being asked to email firstname.lastname@example.org.