Since The Daily Beast’s original “Lost Girls” investigation last summer, additional evidence and archives have come to light, forcing a re-think of our conclusions. We now know more than two dozen other victims were also reported in the same region of Panama, including a young woman from the United States found murdered earlier this year. A return trip to the scene of these events—as well as renewed sleuthing by best-selling author Dr. Kathy Reichs and other forensic specialists—provides a fresh take on these cold cases. In the first chapter of this series, we traveled to the last place Kris Kremers and Lisanne Froon, the two young Dutch students who were killed just over three years ago, were known to have been alive and apparently signalling for help. In the second chapter, we looked at the usual and unusual suspects and witnesses in the "Lost Girls" case. Here, we visit the Serpent River, where key evidence was found—and misinterpreted. In the days to come, we will discover the secrets of a Panama morgue, and look at any possible connections to the case of American graduate student Catherine Johannet, murdered in February this year.
BOQUETE, Panama—The travel ads and tourist brochures all call Panama a paradise.
High in the pristine cloud forests of the Talamanca Cordillera, near the Continental Divide, it’s easy enough to imagine you’re in eco-phile heaven. But, as the locals say, every Eden hides a serpent.