Search Halted For Plymouth Mtg. Man Lost In Australia

Posted: June 12, 1988

The search has been called off for a Plymouth Meeting man missing for more than a month in the mountainous jungles of northern Queensland, according to Australian authorities.

David Sacks, 21, was last seen May 5 when he set off alone to climb Mount Bartlefrere in the Bellenben Ker Range, said Cecil Austen, a regional superintendent in the police department of Cairns, Queensland. He described the area as "dangerous country for anyone to travel on his own."

In an interview last week, Austen said the search was halted Tuesday after almost three weeks because searchers on foot and in helicopters had covered ''all the known tracks in the rugged terrain where we believe David to be lost."

Some trails through the jungle are etched into steep cliffs of 500 feet or more, he said, adding, "If somebody slipped off there, we'll never find them."

Sacks, a junior majoring in human biology at Brown University in Providence, R.I., had been on a yearlong leave of absence to do field study work abroad, according to Robert Reichley, vice president for university relations.

Sacks went to Australia through a program of the School for Field Studies in Beverly, Mass., Reichley said. The program, which included survival training, ended a few days before Sacks left on his hike, he said.

Sacks applied for readmission to Brown shortly before his disappearance, Reichley said. The application letter, dated May 2, "was one of the last letters anyone received from him," he said.

Sacks' mother, Linda Rothchild Sacks, flew to Australia last month to await word of her son. Sacks' father, Robert Sacks, could not be reached for comment.

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