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Frozen body of mountaineer missing for 29 years found in Andes
By thinkSPAIN Team Sat, May 18, 2019
A BODY has been found in an almost perfect state of conservation beneath the ice in the Argentinian Andes over 29 years after a Valencian mountaineer attempted to scale the 5,000-metre El Rincón peak and disappeared.
Mateo Parrilla, who was living in Catalunya by the time he went missing, in January 1990, had travelled to the part of the South American mountain range in Potrerillos in the province of Mendoza and was believed to have been nine-tenths of the way up when he was last seen.
Two Brazilian climbers had passed him halfway up, and it is thought he had reached a glacier and had only 500 metres to go before the summit when he vanished.
A mummified body has been found in around the same place, in a hard-to-reach area, and it has not decomposed because it was protected by layers and layers of ice and snow.
Searchers never found Mateo, although his ID and other belongings were delivered to the State prosecution in Argentina to allow them to open an investigation.
This same government body will compare samples of DNA from Mateo's personal effects with those taken by the mountain rescue squad.
Head of the rescue patrol, Alejandro Alonso, says 'everything points to' the body being that of the missing Valencian mountaineer, but DNA test results will confirm this, and hopefully, provide his friends and family with some closure after nearly 30 years of agony and unanswered questions.
Alonso's team says it appears Mateo, or whoever the deceased is if it is not him, had suffered a fall either near the end of the climb – or possibly, on the way down, if he had indeed succeeded in crowning the El Rincón.
A rucksack was found beneath the ice alongside the climber.
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