A decayed body discovered in a tent up a mountain is believed to be a teenage climber who went missing a year ago.
The skeletonised remains were found by a pair of horrified climbers as they tackled a peak in the Austrian Alp.
The decomposing corpse was found in a tent at Martin’s Wall, a track popular with alpinists and tourists between the Tyrolean town of Zirl and the regional capital Innsbruck, on the 21st of April.
Climbing equipment lying next to the remains was overgrown with grass.
Police are yet to confirm the body’s identity but local media reported that it is 19-year-old Rida Zoundri from the Netherlands.
Austrian newspaper Kronenzeitung reports that Zoundri told a waiter in a bar in Innsbruck about his plan to climb the spectacular North Wall, a local range of mountains, when he stopped in the city during a holiday in May 2021.
With one of Austria’s biggest universities and many restaurants and nightclubs, Innsbruck is popular with young Austrians and students from abroad.
Tyrolean police released the following missing person report on the 2nd of June 2021: “A 19-year-old man from the Netherlands has gone missing since the 30th of May 2021.
“He arrived in Innsbruck on the 29th of May.
“The male individual intended to go on a hike in the mountains the following day.
“Police are asking for any potentially useful information on the man’s whereabouts.”
Innsbruck authorities did not identify Zoundri in their statement at that time but published a portrait photo of the young Dutch holidaymaker, most likely deriving from an official document, showing a curly-haired bearded man with a Maghreb family background.
The body was airlifted with a police helicopter to the forensic department of Innsbruck police after its discovery last month.
Now experts are comparing DNA from the corpse with DNA of Zoundri to clarify the identity of the remains.
Police spokesman Stefan Eder refused to confirm the body’s identity but revealed that investigators had ruled out that the person could have been a victim of crime.
Meanwhile, an experienced alpine search operations expert, has revealed how Zoundri’s family came to Tyrol as they felt local authorities would not show sufficient efforts to find him.
Bruno Berloffa – who heads the local Mountain Rescue Service – told the Kronenzeitung: “Two hikers rang us up after noticing a horrendous stench coming from the tent. We went there to discover a severely decayed body inside.
“Around one week later, the missing person case from May of last year suddenly came into my mind again.
“We carried out intensive search operations in the mountains for days after this young man from the Netherlands was reported missing.
“I remember well how relatives of the bloke came here to frantically look for him. They accused us of doing not enough to find him.”