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steven_ber Sep 5th, 2005 01:26

Backpacker missing in India: Ryan Chambers.
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Family and friends of a South Australian man missing in northern India are anxiously waiting for news about the 21-year-old's whereabouts.

Consular officials, local police and friends are searching for Mount Gambier man Ryan Chambers, who has been missing in Rishikesh for more than a week.

His father, Mount Gambier RSL executive officer Jock Chambers, has also travelled to the region to help.

Ryan and his Adelaide friend, John Booker, have been backpacking in the country since June.

They were reportedly staying at a spiritual retreat.

Mr Booker's mother, Naomi, is stunned at the disappearance of her son's friend and says it is totally out of character.

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade says an official from the Australian High Commission in Delhi is working with police.

The official is also organising leaflets and an appeal in local media.

More Information

Here is some more information take from Adelaide Newspaper The Advertiser...


Ryan's friendship with his travelling companion began when they attended the same kindergarten.

They went through high school together before the Booker family moved to Adelaide, but they remained good friends.

Mr Booker phoned his parents, Naomi and Stewart, last Friday to tell them the news.

"I was absolutely stunned when John told us what happened, I could not believe it," Mrs Booker said. "John has remained so level-headed and calm during the whole ordeal.

"It was very unusual for Ryan to wander off like this. It was completely out of the blue.

"John raised the alarm when he had not heard from Ryan by the following afternoon.

"It was just so unusual."

Mrs Booker said the men had been having a fantastic time travelling.

"They have sent some fabulous emails. They just seemed to be having a wonderful time," she said. "We started to think India was a safe place and relax, despite there being so many warnings.

"It is just a relief that Jock is there with John now and they can search for him together."

Mrs Booker said Ryan's mother, Dianne, was remaining "very positive" during the ordeal and her husband had gone to India "to find Ryan and bring him back home".

Ryan was working in Queensland in a holiday resort before the two men went travelling overseas three months ago.

MISSING: Ryan Chambers was last seen on August 24.

Wanted: Home safe and well

THIS is the photograph the family of missing Mt Gambier man Ryan Chambers hopes will solve the mystery of his disappearance in India.

Taken weeks ago in India, it is being used in a media campaign in Rishikesh, where Ryan was last seen. The photo, provided to The Advertiser by the 21-year-old's family, is being used on leaflets distributed to local communities surrounding Rishikesh, 240km northeast of Delhi.

Ryan was reported missing by travelling friend John Booker, 21, on August 24 after disappearing from a commune early that morning.

Ryan's father, Jock, flew to India as soon as he was notified of his son's disappearance.

Consular officials continue to work with local police and other authorities to locate the missing Mt Gambier man.

The Foreign Affairs Department last night had no further updates on the search.

Margaret Buckell's son, Christopher, went to school with Ryan and his travelling companion. She spoke yesterday of the surprise everyone in Mt Gambier was feeling at his disappearance.

"Everyone who knows Ryan loves him," Mrs Buckell said.

"I have known him since he was at play group. We all just want him to come home.

"Ryan saved up the money that he earned to make this trip to India.

"That has been his agenda for quite some time. That's what he wanted to do. His whole focus has been the trip.

"Everyone is just so blown away by it all. It's hard on everyone.

"I want him to come back so he can get want he wants out of life. It's just really hard when you don't know what's happened to him. Everyone just hopes he is OK."

Terry Strickland, the former principal of Tennyson Woods College where Ryan completed his secondary schooling, remembers him well and was shocked to hear he was missing.

He described Ryan as a "top lad" and as a student who had been a "very bright, energetic kid, who got on well with his mates".

"He got on well with everyone. He had a very engaging nature," Mr Strickland said.,5936,16477188%255E2682, ml

Moderator note: Added .jpeg picture of search & reward poster for easy viewing purposes. For printing or distribution purposes, please refer to the much better-quality .pdf file:

cyberhippie Sep 5th, 2005 01:37

I hope it's just a case of young irresponsability, you know straying off somewhere without a care in the world. My gut feeling is this isn't the case, as it would seem so out of character for the lad!!
My thoughts go out to friends and family who must be going through hell!!

Rob_The_Pom Sep 5th, 2005 01:37

Good on you Steve.

Please let us know how this story develops, I'm sure we all want to see this lad returned safe and well back to his family. Let's hope this story has a happy ending.


Hamanda Sep 5th, 2005 01:45

I also hope and pray that this young man and his family are re-united very very soon. I know, from personal experience, how it feels when some-one you love just disappears. I won't go into details because I don't want to detract anything from this thread - or the hope that someone in IM can shed some light on the situation which will assist the search - but it's been 8 years for me now. The 'not knowing' is the worst, I just pray that this family won't be left in the same state of limbo that my family is in. I am so relieved that this story is back on IM, some-one here may just be able to help.

MeCasa Sep 5th, 2005 03:19

Good lookin' kid, he has a happy smile

I can't picture anybody hurting someone who looks so happy, so what are the options? The trail is well marked so I doubt he fell, if he went off with friends to a monastary or so then there would be no communications, so hopefully he's OK with a big embarrasment in his future

GoanCanuck Sep 5th, 2005 03:51

There was a similar case of a young German male who disappeared while visiting Vancouver a couple of years ago. He came from a regular middle class family and he was the only child and was well educated and very sober but till today there has been no sign of him. He left his passport, credit card and all documents in his hotel room and disappeared from the face of the planet. [shock]

aZuRe27 Sep 5th, 2005 08:41

From an old schoolmate
Whatever has happened, we need answers for the sake of his parents Jock and Dianne and his two older brothers Aaron and Jarrod.
The town of Mt. Gambier are in deep shock especially those who knew him.

We are a small city in the South East of South Australia and something like this occurring is quite BIG. I know people going missing every day all over the world, but when it is someone you know it really does hit you. [cry]


aZuRe27 Sep 5th, 2005 08:54

More Info
Australian backpacker missing in India
September 1, 2005 - 9:34AM

A South Australian man has gone missing in India while on a backpacking holiday.

Ryan Chambers from Mount Gambier in the state's south-east was last seen on August 24, Adelaide's The Advertiser reported today.

Mr Chambers left Australia in June to travel around the world with a friend, John Booker, from Adelaide.

The pair had been staying at an ashram or commune in the northern Indian city of Rishikesh when the 21-year-old disappeared about 5am on August 24, without his phone or any money.

Mr Booker raised the alarm when he had not heard from Mr Chambers by the following afternoon.

The Foreign Affairs Department said Indian authorities were searching for Mr Chambers and Australian consular officials were helping his father, Jock, who had travelled to India to help.

Website story came from

Judi Sep 5th, 2005 14:18

Thanks for putting this back on stream, Steven. I'm sure all Imers are hoping and praying for this lad's safe return.

Nick-H Sep 5th, 2005 16:16

All the very best wishes.

Azure: this guy has a good friend in you. Hope you'll be together again soon.

torryquine Sep 5th, 2005 19:58

I came across a website some months ago, called Missing in the Himalayas or Lost in the Himalayas, something like that. I don't have the link and can't find it by Googling. If anyone else has it, it might be useful for Azure, Hamanda and anyone else who finds themselves in this awful situation.

cyberhippie Sep 5th, 2005 20:25

Sadly the idea quickly disappeared Torry, I had a link to it on my own website but the guy who set it up has lost interest or something!!

aZuRe27 Sep 6th, 2005 06:30

Thankyou Evereyon
Thank you everyone for your well wishes and prayers. I know that it is tragic when someone we know suddenly disappears. I am reading everyones posts and and grateful for your concerns. I know that if Ryan's family knew how much strangers cared for his well being that would be very touched.

Thanks again everyone,


iwanttogoback Sep 6th, 2005 08:28

aZuRe27, if you get any news, please post as there seem to be many here following this story.
cheers from perth.

dokidoki Sep 6th, 2005 08:55

i hope his family and community are bearing up, and wish them my best. such a terrible thing to happen to anyone, and I hope they find something about this soon.

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