20-year-old Ally Willen, a 2012 Revere High School graduate, is missing in New Zealand and presumed dead.
Willen attends Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Florida. She is studying abroad for the semester when she disappeared while on a three-day hiking excursion that began on Thursday, April 23.
Willen was last seen on Friday, April 24 when the weather got bad and she became separated from the group.
Search crews report finding Willen's backpack and some of her clothing this week.
Officials from Eckerd College released this statement on the situation:
I want to inform you about a difficult situation we're currently facing.
Most of you know our friend, Ally Willen. Ally has been studying abroad in New Zealand this semester and taking in all the wonders and marvels that country has to offer. On Thursday she and a number of other students from the university where she has been studying began a three-day hike. On the second day, the weather turned bad and Ally became separated from the group. The NZ police initiated a search but have not yet found her.
I am asking all of you to please pray for Ally's safe return, and send positive thoughts her way. She is an amazing person, level headed and smart. She's also an experienced hiker and knows the outdoors very well. I'm holding out hope that she found shelter from the weather and will be located by the many police and local volunteers searching for her.
Rabbi Ed Rosenthal