Missing Israeli Backpacker Died From Snake Bite in South America

The body of a 23-year-old Israeli backpacker, Omri Lahad, from Rosh Pina, was found on the border between Colombia and Brazil, his family announced yesterday. The traveler, the son of an internationally renowned specialist in psychotrauma, apparently died of a snake bite about a month ago.

A search party the family sent to South America identified Lahad's body Monday and informed the family of his death.

The body had been discovered by locals and handed over to police, but they were unable to inform the Israeli authorities of Lahad's death because they found no identification on him.

Lahad is the son of Professor Mooli Lahad, a psychologist who runs the Community Stress Prevention Center in Kiryat Shmona and advises community leaders around the world on how to prevent and treat psychotrauma.

Omri Lahad separated from his traveling companions on October 26, when he headed off to hike in the Amazon rain forest. Over the past month, Lahad's parents informed the Foreign Ministry that their son was missing and sent a search party to the area, led by Omri's brother Tom and Hilik Magnus, who heads the Israeli rescue company Magnus International Search & Rescue.

Other relatives contacted Israeli travelers in the area in the hope of finding someone who had encountered Lahad and could provide information about his whereabouts.

In announcing their son's death, his family issued a statement yesterday thanking all those who helped search for him "during the days of tension and worry."