Missing trekker’s family bid to solve mystery

Zisimos Souflas was seen in Namche, Nepal in April 2012
Zisimos Souflas was seen in Namche, Nepal in April 2012
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ALMOST two years after Sheffield man Zisimos Souflas disappeared while trekking in Nepal, his sister, brother and parents are renewing their efforts to find out what happened to him.

Zisimos, known as Zis, was trekking alone in the foothills of the Himalayas when he vanished in April 2012.

Several travellers have disappeared in the region, prompting fears that Mr Souflas may have come to harm.

Yesterday his mother Pauline used a Press conference in the Nepalese capital Kathmandu to appeal to trekkers not to travel alone.

“Its exactly two years since Zis disappeared which has been devastating for all the family,” she said.

“Despite all the searching and work which has been done we have absolutely no information about him. I think today’s press conference at TAAN (trekkers agencies association of Nepal) was helpful to raise awareness of the dangers of trekking alone, and a reminder that the bereaved families still need information about what happened to their children.”

Mr Souflas’s sister Sophie said not knowing what happened to her brother had taken its toll on the family. Last year she had to take a year off from university because she could not cope with the stress.

“It’s a really surreal experience which has been hard to deal with but I have had to get on with my life,” she said.

“Is it worth sitting here thinking he has died when we really don’t know? It’s a really confusing and unsettling position to be in.

“I feel as if I should go out (to Nepal) and search myself. I feel powerless and useless.”

Her parents Pauline and Stavros and brother Luke, 28, have struggled to come to terms with Zis’s disappearance.

“Mum and Dad have really struggled. Dad was thinking that maybe he could imagine him turning up. It has been difficult, with no conclusion and no closure.”

Miss Souflas, 26, who is studying law at Cardiff, said she hopes yesterday’s press conference in Nepal will encourage trekkers not to venture out on their own.

She also welcomed plans for a renewed private search for her brother, which is due to be carried shortly.

Miss Souflas described the area around Everest as “really dangerous”, partly because of the difficult terrain but also due to the apparent risk from gangs and robbers targeting travellers.

It is possible, she says, that her brother’s disappearance may be linked to the high altitude he was at. “We don’t know if he did acclimatisation. He may have pushed himself too much and got into trouble,” she added.

Almost two years on, his family can only pray for a small clue and a breakthrough.