Deaths of Kris Kremers and Lisanne Froon
September 24, 1991|
April 1, 2014 (aged 22)|
|Status||Human remains found|
|Cause of death||Unknown|
|Height||184 cm (6 ft 0 in)|
August 9, 1992|
April 1, 2014 (aged 21)|
|Status||Human remains found|
|Cause of death||Unknown|
|Height||167 cm (5 ft 6 in)|
Kris Kremers and Lisanne Froon were two Dutch students who disappeared on April 1, 2014, while hiking in Panama. After an intensive search, portions of their bodies were found a few months later although how they died could not be determined. The circumstances and aftermath of their disappearance have resulted in much speculation about the cause of death.
Prior to Panama
Lisanne Froon, 22, described as an aspiring, optimistic, intelligent young woman, sporty, and volleyball fanatic, and Kris Kremers, 21, described as open, creative, and responsible, both grew up in Amersfoort. Lisanne had just graduated in Applied Sciences in Deventer last September, and Kris had just completed her studies in Cultural Social Education, specializing in Art Education at the University of Utrecht. Only a few weeks prior to leaving for Panama, Lisanne moved-in with Kris in a dorm room in Amersfoort and they worked together at Café-Restaurant ‘In den Kleinen Hap’. They both saved up for six months and planned to go to Panama together as a special trip to learn Spanish, as well as doing something of significance for the locals, particularity volunteering to help the children and learn from them. The trip was also supposed to be a reward for Lisanne for graduating.
Arrival in Panama
Kris and Lisanne arrived in Panama for a six-week vacation on March 15, 2014 on a flight from Schiphol Airport, Amsterdam. They toured Panama for two weeks before arriving in Boquete, on March 29, 2014, to begin volunteer work with children for one month, while being accommodated by a local host family. On April 1, 2014, they went on a hike around 11:00 am by the clouded forests that surrounded the Baru volcano, possibly the trail of Pianista, not far from Boquete, while reportedly being accompanied by their host family’s dog “Blue”. They apparently wrote on Facebook that they intended to walk around Boquete. It was also reported that they had been seen having brunch with two young men that were apparently Dutch before they went on the trail.
Disappearance and search
The local host family became alarmed when their dog Blue returned home alone that night without the young women. Lisanne’s parents stopped receiving messages from Kris via the mobile instant messenger WhatsApp, which Lisanne and Kris both used daily to keep in contact with their families back in the Netherlands. On April 2, Lisanne and Kris had earlier arranged an appointment to meet with their tour guide Feliciano at 8:00 am to guide them on the trails. After failing to meet Feliciano, he and a young German Eileen from the language school around 07:30 pm visited the police station. They went to the girl's host’s home to find most of all of their belongings and no sign of them having returned. Eileen had also a few hours earlier tried calling Lisanne’s mother Diny to ask where Lisanne was, while Diny replied that “she is in Panama”. Two hours later, Feliciano and Eileen return to the police station to declare that Lisanne and Kris are missing. The next day on April 3rd, Sistema Nacional de Protección Civil (SINAPROC) began aerial searches over the forest at 8:00 am. Local tribes and farmers around Boquete had also started seeking out the young women. On April 6th the parents of Kris and Lisanne flew into Panama along with police, special forces with dog units and detectives from the Netherlands to do a full-scale search of the forests for 10 days. Despite the efforts, Kris and Lisanne were not found. Their parents were then offering a $30,000 reward for anybody that could help find their whereabouts.
Discovery of remains
Around 10 weeks later, after the search, a Ngobe woman turned in a backpack to the authorities claiming to have found it while tending her rice paddy by a riverbank near her village of Alto Romero, in the Boco del Toros region, about 12 hours by foot from the Continental Divide. The Ngobe woman also said she was sure it hadn’t been there the day before. It was identified as Lisanne’s blue backpack. The contents of the backpack were 2 pairs of cheap sunglasses, $83 in cash, the passport of Lisanne, a water bottle, Lisanne’s Canon Powershot SX270 camera, 2 bras, Lisanne’s Samsung Galaxy S III, and Kris’s iPhone 4. Everything seemed well packed, dry, and left in good condition. The case however made a dark turn while retrieving data from the girl’s phones, and from Lisanne’s camera, revealing that the young women had tried some hours after the start of their hike on April 1st to get in contact with police by dialing 112 (police line in the Netherlands) and 911 (police line in Panama), confirming that something had happened to the young women.
Kris had an iPhone 4 and Lisanne had a Samsung Galaxy S III. After the retrieval of Lisanne's backpack, the phones were some of the contents still inside the backpack and undamaged. Investigators had retrieved the logs of the phones to show that the young women had tried on both phones to make multiple emergency calls. The first distress call had been made just hours after beginning their hike by Kris's iPhone at 04:39 pm and shortly after one by Lisanne's Samsung Galaxy at 04:51 pm. None of the calls had gone through due to a lack of reception in the area except for one 911 call attempt on April 3rd that lasted for a little over a second before breaking up. After April 5th, Lisanne's phone battery became exhausted after 05:00 am and was not used again. The iPhone of Kris would not make anymore calls as well but only turned on and search for reception. After April 6th, the iPhone gets multiple attempts of a false PIN code entered into the phone and never received the correct code again. One report showed that between the 7th and 10th of April, there were 77 emergency call attempts with the iPhone. The phone last turned on during the 11th of April at 10:51 am and turned off after an hour at 11:56 am for the last time.
|Date of Call||iPhone 4 (Kris)||Samsung Galaxy S III (Lisanne)|
|01 April||16:39 – attempt 1 (112)||16:51 – attempt 1 (112)|
|02 April||18:14 – attempt 2 (112)|| 06:58 – attempt 2 (112)
10:53 – attempt 3 (112 & 911)
|03 April|| 09:33 – attempt 3 (911)
16:00 – check signal 1
| 13:50 – check signal 1
16:19 – check signal 2
|04 April|| 09:33 – check signal 2
13:42 – check signal 3
|05 April|| 10:50 – check signal 4
13:37 – check signal 5
| 04:50 – check signal 3
05:56 – switch on; battery empty; no further activity
|06 April|| 10:26 – check signal 6 (no PIN)
13:37 – check signal 7 (no PIN)
|11 April|| 10:51 – check signal 8 (no PIN)
11:56 – switched off after 1:05 h; no further activity
Lisanne’s Canon Powershot SX270 Camera
The camera of Lisanne has photos from April 1st that show the young women had taken a trail at the overlook of the Continental Divide and wandering into some wilderness hours before their first attempt to reach 911, but with no signs of anything unusual. It would not be until a week later after declared missing on April 8th that Lisanne’s camera was used again to take 90 flash photos between the time of 01:00 am and 04:00 am at rate of a photo every 2 minutes and most of the 90 photos were taken deep in the jungle and in near complete darkness. A few photos show that they were possibly near a river or a ravine. Some of the visible photos show a twig with plastic bags and candy wrappers on top of a rock, another photo of what looks like toilet paper and a mirror on another rock, and another that shows the back of Kris’s head with what possibly looks like blood by her temple. It has not been clarified what meaning or the purpose of these photos are.
Second search and recovered human remains
The discovery of the backpack touched off a new wave of intense searches along the Culebra. Two Ngobe women from a search party had discovered the jean shorts of Kris that were zipped and neatly folded on top of a rock on the opposite, or eastern, bank of the tributary, a few kilometers away from the bank where Lisanne’s backpack was discovered. Two months later, even closer to where the backpack was discovered, a boot with a foot inside of it was found along with a part of a pelvis bone reportedly behind a tree. In a short timespan over 33 bones would be discovered from long distances apart from each other from the same river bank. DNA testing in the Netherlands eventually confirmed that they were the bones of Lisanne Froon and Kris Kremers. Of the 33 bones, 28 of which were those of Lisanne’s left foot. The boot was a product from a Dutch company that still had the foot and ankle of Lisanne in the sock within the boot. The pelvis bone belonged to Kris. It has also been noted, that while Lisanne’s bones still had some skin attached to them, Kris’s bones appeared to have been bleached.
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