French police search for missing Nepalese skier

3rd May 2009, Comments 0 comments

French police and colleagues of a skier from the Nepalese national team were increasingly concerned for his welfare Sunday, nealry a week after the teenager went missing from a training camp in the Alps.

PARIS - French police and colleagues of a skier from the Nepalese national team were increasingly concerned for his welfare Sunday, nealry a week after the teenager went missing from a training camp in the Alps.

Uttam Rayamajhi, 17, quit the team's training base at Les Arcs, southeast France, last Monday, upset over a funding row that threatened the funding of the country's ski team.

Rayamajhi speaks neither French nor English, had no money, no mobile phone and no experience of big cities, said Richard Morley, a former team coach Richard Morley who has been overseeing the squad in the Alps.

"Either he is still lost in the mountains or, more probably, on the streets of a big city in France -- likely Paris -- living rough, wandering around and probably having to steal food," Morley told AFP by telephone.

"He comes from the mountains of Nepal so he's not a street-savvy city boy. He's easy prey. That's why I'm so worried about him," added Morley.

Dominique Hoffmann, an officer with the paramilitary gendarmerie police at Albertville, southeast France, said Rayamaghi's team-members had explained how depressed he was over the funding problems.

"But anything is possible: an argument or an encounter," he added.

Investigators had ruled nothing out, Hoffmann said.

Rayamajhi had initially sought support from a local branch of the Jehovah's Witnesses, said Morley.

But local police at nearby Bourg Saint Maurice were satisfied he was no longer with the group, he added.

"He did speak to them, but the Jehovah's Witnesses have assured me they gave him no adresses or contacts of anyone in France."

He added: "The police and I both believe he has gone to a major city and I think he could be in Paris."

Rayamajhi competed in the Ski World Championships at the French resort of Val d'Isere in February.

AFP / Expatica

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