David Alexander Gimelfarb

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Above Images: Gimelfarb, circa 2009


Vital Statistics at Time of Disappearance

  • Missing Since: August 10, 2009 from Liberia, Costa Rica
  • Classification: Lost/Injured Missing
  • Date of Birth: December 2, 1980
  • Age: 28 years old
  • Height and Weight: 5'8, 135 pounds
  • Distinguishing Characteristics: Caucasian male. Brown/red hair, brown eyes. Gimelfarb had a goatee at the time of his disappearance. He has a surgical scar on the right side of his torso. He speaks fluent Spanish.
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    Details of Disappearance

    Gimelfarb flew out of O'Hare Airport in Chicago, Illinois on August 9, 2009, for a vacation to Costa Rica. On August 10, he emailed his parents and spoke to them on the phone and said he planned to visit a national park that day. He told them he would call them every day. He was staying at the Hotel Chachipelin in Liberia, a city in the Costa Rican province of Guanacaste. On August 11, Gimelfarb's parents contacted the hotel because they hadn't heard from him. The following day, the hotel notified them that his rented white Hyundai Tucson was found locked in the parking lot of the Rincon De La Vieja National Park, three miles from the hotel. The date and time stamp for admittance to the park was for August 10. The national park is 35,000 acre in size and mostly volcanic jungle terrain.

    Gimelfarb has never been heard from again. He has no known mental problems and no history of drug or alcohol abuse. An extensive search of the park, involving local officials and volunteers, the Red Cross, and two United States Army Black Hawk helicopters, turned up no indication of his whereabouts. His parents traveled to Costa Rica on August 13 to assist with the investigation. They stated he's an experienced hiker and traveler; he had previously gone skiing in Colorado and had traveled alone to Israel.

    At the time of his disappearance, Gimelfarb was a third-year Ph.D student at the Adler School of Professional Psychology in Chicago, and resided in the Buena Park neighborhood of that city. Highland Park, Illinois police are investigating his case; his parents live there. The Charley Project is profiling his case due to his American citizenship.


    Investigating Agency
    If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:
    Highland Park Police Department
    Detective Sean Curran


    Source Information
    The Chicago Tribune
    The Tico Times
    Chicago Breaking News
    Facebook Page for David Gimelfarb
    The Lonely Planet


    Updated 1 time since October 12, 2004.

    Last updated May 13, 2010; casefile added.

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