UPDATE: French hiker spots Decatur man who went missing after Nepal earthquake

Posted by Dan Whisenhunt April 29, 2015

This story has been updated. 

The family of Martin Emanuel received some welcome news early this morning.

Emanuel, 71, who was hiking in Nepal over the weekend when a devastating earthquake struck, has been spotted by a French hiker. Family members hadn’t been able to raise the Decatur resident or his guide, Dilli Bahadur Magar.

Brooks Emanuel, Martin’s son, provided an update on his father’s whereabouts.

“We received tonight an email from a French trekker who saw our Dad – Martin (Marty) Emanuel alive after the initial earthquake on Saturday, April 25. Based on her message, our earlier posts about our father’s location at the time of the initial quake were incorrect,” Brooks said. “Instead of being in Langtang National Park, he was just west of the park, in Tatopani (28.2 N, 85.3 E), APPARENTLY HEADED FOR NAGTHALI,” Brooks wrote. “Gillaine Rigaill sent us a photo of our father that she said she took in Tatopani (28.2 N, 85.3 E) after the initial earthquake on Saturday, April 25. She said that they stayed in Tatopani that night.”

Photo obtained via Brooks Emanuel

Photo obtained via Brooks Emanuel

Brooks said, “(The hiker) said that our father’s guide, Dilli, said that they were going to keep going. She wrote, ‘He should go to Naghtali,’ which we interpret to mean that they were going to trek to Nagthali from Tatopani. We are assuming Dilli was looking for a safer place to be. My Dad asked her to email my Mom.

“We got a couple of emails back and forth with Gillaine tonight but she lost wifi connection and was trying to fly back to France, where she has promised that she will continue to email us. As soon as we find out more, we will let you all know.”

According to another status update, Martin texted his wife, Anne, to let her know he is OK.

Brooks thanked everyone who spread the word about his father’s story on social media. While Martin Emanuel’s story apparently will have a happy ending, there are still many in Nepal suffering from the devastation caused by the earthquake. It’s estimated to have killed as many as 4,800 people, according to CNN.

For a list of groups raising money to help earthquake victims, click here.

About Dan Whisenhunt

Dan Whisenhunt is editor and publisher of Decaturish.com. https://www.linkedin.com/in/danwhisenhunt

View all posts by Dan Whisenhunt

  • Jim Dillon

    Thanks for spreading the word! This is a big relief. Marty is a great guy.

  • A Gok

    That is wonderful!

  • Anne

    I’m glad the man is OK, but why would a 71-year-old married man be sharing a tent with a young female hiker??? Not my husband!!!

  • Kathryn West

    Anne, you lack perspective. Love, Kat

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