Braunisch arrived in Colombia on May 8th and was intending to travel on to Panama. He emailed his wife in the middle of May, but since then there has been zero communication, reported the Expressen newspaper on Thursday.
“I’ve reported him missing to the police,” said his sister Aleqzia who added that her brother was a veteran traveller.
“He’s well used to travelling. Recently, he spent six months in Africa by himself.”
Braunisch was keeping a blog of his trip but hasn’t updated it since May 15th. His last post mentioned his intention to visit Panama where he would have to cross the notorious Darien jungle region which borders the two countries.
The region is known as a haven for drug cartels and guerilla paramilitaries.
“I’m in riosucio now, on the atrato river. From here it’s not far from panama. There are supposedly quite many paths from here to panama. We’ll see how it goes,” wrote Braunisch in his last email.
It is understood that the young traveller, who has already visited 50 countries, was intending to spend three months exploring South America. He described on his blog that the adventure would include ‘walking through at least one jungle.’
He was studying for his PhD in statistics at Purdue University in the US. Braunisch is fluent in five languages and his blog is entitled ‘9 countries, 3 months.’
“I don’t know what to think or what might have happened to him. It’s obvious that his trip has taken a new turn but I still hope to hear from him. It’s possible he does not have any (mobile) coverage,” added his sister Aleqzia.
One commenter on his blog was not holding out hope for Braunisch’s safe return writing: “Only narco guerrillas, highly trained combat-jungle police, indigenous people who didn’t see anything, and nasty critters go through there. This is probably one of the most dangerous areas south of the US border.”