Bailey Meola and Sydney Schumacher, two Seattle backpackers who were in Nepal when the devastating 7.8 earthquake hit in April, are now believed to have died, their families announced on Thursday.
The women, both 19, were hiking along the Langtang Valley Trek when the earthquake hit the region on April 25, killing at least 8,000 people. Meola and Schumacher, recent Garfield High School graduates, have not been heard from since. Two weeks later, the area was hit with another 7.3 earthquake.
The families launched an online campaign to raise money for a search, and family members traveled to Nepal to look for them
“When Sydney’s brothers, Will and Paul, searched the entirety of the trek, and saw the immense and unfathomable destruction and devastation, it was clear that there was no chance our girls had survived,” the families wrote in a joint statement posted on Indiegogo. “Although our strong desire has been to hear final confirmation from the US Embassy, and to receive our girls’ remains, we haven’t, and may never.”
The families thanked their supporters, who contributed more than $50,000. The families said that the money contributed would be used “to aid the people & economy of the Langtang Valley region in the names of our beautiful daughters.”