On September 24, Jesse Galganov left his home in Montreal for an eight-month backpacking trip through South America and Southeast Asia.
Four days later, Galganov told his mother, Alisa Clamen, that he would not 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 after October 2. Neither Clamen nor any of Jesse’s friends have heard from him since.
Police in Peru have been investigating the 22-year-old’s disappearance. Search parties are attempting to locate his whereabouts. On October 22, Jesse’s mother told CTV News: “All of (the information) is leading to the conclusion that Jesse, somehow, was abducted… It is really the only plausible theory at this point, because nobody really disappears into thin air.”
Since then, no concrete information has come out that points to Jesse’s whereabouts. A Go Fund Me campaign was created in order to provide financial supports to help in the search for Jesse. To date, the campaign has raised over $117,900.
Here’s what we know:
1. He Was Last Seen Exiting a Bus in Huaraz on the Morning of September 28
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.
At first, the owner of the hostel said that Jesse had checked in. When questioned by the police, however, he changed his story, according to CTV. The local District Attorney is now conducting a criminal investigation at the hostel.
Investigators tell the outlet that they now know Galganov made it to the Kame House because a friend received a Snapchat of him at the hostel.
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.
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.
2. Jesse’s Mother Has Not Been Able to Secure All Data from T-Mobile or Amazon and Has Started a Petition Asking for His Information to Be Released
On October 22, Clamen said that while many strangers across the world have reached out to lend a hand, Apple, T-Mobile, and Amazon have not been cooperating with the investigation. “All these people are offering their help, and yet I have Apple, Amazon, and T-Mobile who are not only not offering their help, they’re impeding us.”
Clamen has since started a petition asking for her son’s information to be released. The petition reads, “Apple, T-Mobile, and Amazon have REFUSED to cooperate, despite requests from investigators and Jesse’s mother. They are withholding critical information and are thereby preventing authorities from finding Jesse. These corporations are wasting precious time with their obstinacy. We demand that Apple, T-Mobile, and Amazon cooperate fully with with the authorities and investigators pursuing this case. We demand that they help us bring Jesse home.”
Apple released a statement to Global News in response to Clamen, saying, “As we do with emergency requests from law enforcement, we have immediately responded to legal requests for information from U.S., Canadian and Peruvian authorities in this case.” They add on, “We know time is of the essence, and have a dedicated team responding to any exigent request 24 hours a day around the world.”
T-Mobile tells Global News it has done what it can to help with the search, and that it has cooperated with the Department of Homeland Security. “We don’t have location information on our partner networks when customers are roaming, but will certainly provide anything else we can to help.”
Over the course of just five days, Clamen’s petition has garnered more than 62,000 signatures. According to CTV, Apple, T-Mobile, and Amazon have since released information to the police from Galganov’s phone, but Clamen says that Apple needs to provide more information.
Specifically, Clamen says that they need access to Jesse’s Apple ID and password. “We could use this information to restore his last backup, which will help us see the last timestamp of photos, text messages, and iMessages. These messages and photos will be vital in understanding where Jesse was and will lead us to those who may know more information regarding his whereabouts,” Clamen said in a statement.
3. His Mother Has Gone to Peru to Search for Him and Has Posted a $10,000 Reward for Information Leading to His Discovery
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 Embassy.
Clamen tells the Montreal Gazette that the Peruvian government and police are “taking the case seriously.”
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.
According to CTV News, Clamen has posted a $10,000 reward for information leading to the discovery of her son.
4. He Graduated from Wesleyan University and Was Set to Begin Medical School at Thomas Jefferson University next Fall
Galganov graduated from Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut, this past spring. He received his BA in Mathematics, as well as a Certificate in Bioinformatics and Modeling, according to his LinkedIn.
Galganov was planning on attending medical school next fall at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia.
His LinkedIn boasts an impressive resume with volunteer work ranging from The Movember Foundation to an organizer and co-chair of the Promise Cup Tournament, a non-profit social justice organization. Galganov was also an event coordinator for World Food Day, a charity event raising funds for disaster and humanitarian relief.
In 2015, a community development manager at the Movember Foundation wrote a recommendation for Jesse. It read:
I can barely begin to describe the impact Jesse had as a Campus Rep for the Movember Foundation. Movember participation at Jesse’s University grew 149% this campaign and that can be entirely credited to the hard-work, leadership, and dedication Jesse brought to the role. His passion is unmatched at the college level and his ability to think creatively and inspire others is truly second to none. I cannot recommend Jesse any stronger for whatever path he choices. He has been nothing but a pleasure to work with and is a shining example to his peers and others that will follow him.
5. 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.”
Jesse Galganov is 5’10” and about 170lb. He is a dual citizen of Canada and the US. A Twitter page has been created to help find Jesse.
Anyone with information is being asked to email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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