PETALING JAYA, April 16 — The family of Dennis Lee Thian Poh, who went missing during a trek in Ampurna, Nepal, on April 5, hopes he will return in time for his second wedding anniversary on Saturday.
An email from a family friend said the family was anxious about finding Lee, a 47-year-old businessman from Kuala Lumpur, as weather conditions in the Himalayas worsen.
‘’Dennis and his wife Jennifer (Eileen Peters) will celebrate their second wedding anniversary on Saturday. The family hopes they will be able to celebrate this special day together,” said the woman, who declined to be named.
Search efforts in Nepal have intensified with rescue teams combing the areas between Khopra and Bayeli as well as Dobasto and Tadatani.
SAR Dogs Nepal, an independent Nepali search-and-rescue team, posted photographs of poor weather conditions from their base camp in Bayeli.
“The weather is still bad. Thick fog forces our teams to work carefully,’’ said the team via its Twitter account on Tuesday.
Lee’s family has also urged experienced volunteers to help with on-ground search efforts.
“We have engaged SAR Dogs Nepal who are doing a fantastic job alongside many villagers and Sherpas. But this is not enough,” said the family in a statement on Sunday.
‘’We need more people on the ground to help us cover such a vast area. If you can give us any clues to his whereabouts and help him return to his children, his wife, his family and his friends, you would have created a miracle.”
Lee, an avid trekker, arrived in Kathmandu on March 28 for a hiking trip with eight friends and was scheduled to return last Friday.
He was last seen between Ghorepani and Ghundrung on the afternoon of April 5, as the group made their descent from Khopra Danda, heading to Bayeli.
Initial reports said Lee was walking alone, ahead of his group. Rescuers later clarified that although Lee was ahead, he was trailing behind the group’s porters.
Once at their campsite in Bayeli, the other hikers realised Lee had not reached the campsite and the porters had not seen him.
A search party was set up on April 7, and his wife flew to Nepal the next day to help coordinate the rescue team comprising professional rescuers, local police and villagers.
Those who are able to help in Nepal may contact rescuers at +977 9856025679 or email any information to [email protected].
Lee’s friends have also set up a Facebook page called Find Dennis for the public to share information or express their support.