American attending spiritual retreat in southern Mexico goes missing

Hari Simran (Photo: Via

Hari Simran (Photo: Via

An American newlywed has disappeared in a mountainous park an hour south of Mexico City, near the town of Tepoztlán in the state of Morelia.

Hari Simran, 25, who is from the Park Slope section of Brooklyn, N.Y., was attending a four-day yoga and music retreat called Sat Nam Fest Mexico with his wife of less than a year, Ad Purkh. The couple had recently moved to Leesburg, Virginia top run a yoga studio called Raj Yoga.

According to the website created by his family to try to coordinate search efforts, Simran left for a hike in the nearby national park above Tepoztlán at about 10 a.m. on the morning of Dec. 30. He had a liter of water, some trail mix and “a sharp knife” on him.

At 12:30 p.m., he texted his wife a photograph of himself pointing down a mountainside toward the town, along with the caption, “Looking down on you!”

About two hours later, he texted again to say, “I accidentally summited another mountain. Looks like I’ll be a little later coming back :). Save me some lunch if you can.”

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At 3:30, he replied to a friend’s message saying, “I’m on top of a really high mountain in Mexico and I’m not exactly sure how to get down.”

As sundown approached, his wife tried to call and text, but she didn’t hear back.

The search for the American began the next morning but still hasn’t located him. According to the Mexico City paper, El Universal, the name of the peak they focused their efforts on is known as Cerro de los Venaditos (“Peak of the Fawns”).

Prabhjit Singh, a media contact listed on, told Fox News Latino that the family had finally persuaded T-Mobile, Simran’s cell phone carrier to release the GPS information from the missing man’s cell phone.

“Unfortunately, he didn’t have the GPS turned on,” Singh said.

Search parties, rescue dogs and a helicopter have been involved in the search, but the rugged terrain has been hampering efforts, as there are many caves and cliffs in the area.

“We don’t have the support we need,” Singh told FNL. “Rescue teams have to hike four hours just to get to the starting point of the search, and the helicopter has to go all the way to Mexico City to refuel.”

To help fund the search, Simram’s family has started a GoFundMe fundraiser.

“We need to hire helicopters,” the page reads. “We need infrared technology to see into caves and ravines. We need to fly in teams of rangers. We need to feed and house our volunteers. We need to use every means necessary to find Hari Simran!”

According to the New York Daily News, relatives have contacted the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City, but personnel there said they couldn’t get involved until Simran has been missing for 72 hours, a milestone that would be reached Friday afternoon.

Bill Vourvoulias (@bvourvoulias) is an editor at Fox News Latino.

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