“It's been 10 days,” Randa Reiger said. “If he were injured, he would be dead by now. There would be vultures. There is no sign of that.”
Frustration, but hope
The most logical explanation for what happened is a kidnapping, but there have been no ransom demands, and the area where the family was hiking is considered a safe part of the country with no history of abductions.
“If that is the case, he's in the hands of desperate and bad people,” Christy Reiger said. “But at the same time, it is reason for hope. Right now we have great hope that he is still alive.”
August Reiger's parents met Tuesday with a police kidnapping unit. Christi Reiger said family members have been told kidnappers in the region often don't immediately send ransom demands.
The continued lack of information about what happened to August Reiger is building frustration among family members.
“Yesterday evening, getting that notice that there had been a sighting, it was the first kind of light we've had since this all started,” Christi Reiger said.
Ecuadorean authorities have done a commendable job searching for August, Randa Reiger said. His disappearance is a national story, and his parents have met with the nation's chief of police, tourism minister and interior minister, as well as U.S. State Department officials in the country.
“They are taking it very seriously and doing whatever they can,” Randa Reiger said. “They have got his picture all over the place. They are doing a massive search.”
Several relatives have flown in to help support Reiger's parents and brother. Randa Reiger said she doesn't know whether the family is going to stay in the area where their son went missing or relocate to Quito, the capital.
“Just keep praying for us,” Randa Reiger said. “Pray for his safety and his return.”