Hunt intensifies for missing American woman on Camino de Santiago

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THE hunt continues for Denise Pikka Thiem, an American pilgrim who went missing while walking the Camino de Santiago in April.

The young woman from Phoenix, Arizona, was last seen on April 5 at Santa Marta church in Astorga and police officers have been searching on, above and underground for signs of her.

Four days beforehand records show that she withdrew €50 from a cash machine. Although she was not carrying a mobile phone, her family said that before disappearing she had been getting in touch with them at least once a week via Facebook.

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Now 300 officers and soldiers with four-wheel-drives, lorries, a helicopter and horses have been put back on the case and started searching an area near a small village, Castrillo de los Polvazares, paying special attention to the 100 or so wells there.

There has so far been no official statement on why, five months after the disappearance, the search has suddenly been intensified again, although American Senator John McCain and the missing woman’s family recently wrote to Spanish PM Mariano Rajoy urging him to call the FBI in to help, an offer which Rajoy avoided responding to in his replies to the letters.

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