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UCLA Student Gabriel Buchmann Believed Dead

By Joe Eskenazi,
Online News Editor, SF Weekly

Gabriel Buchmann

Gabriel Buchmann


The international effort made by family and friends of Gabriel Buchmann

to track down the lost Fulbright scholar in Malawi came to a somber

conclusion, as a body believed to be that of the Brazilian and French

citizen was discovered yesterday.

Malawian media quoted Ralph Makondetsa,

the public relations officer for the Mulanje police, as confirming that

a trio of locals stumbled across "the dead body of this unidentified

white man" while searching for plants that are used as brooms.

Buchmann, 28, had been missing since July 17 when he attempted to climb

Mount Mulanje alone.

The Web site run by the incoming UCLA

doctoral student's family and friends -- a number of whom were on the

scene in Malawi  and presumably identified the body --  yesterday

confirmed that Buchmann was dead.


"It is the hour of goodbye," reads the Portuguese-language Ajude Gabriel Buchmann

Web site. "It is with much pain that we give notice that ... after 28

years of giving joy and showing the way, Gabriel departed for the

spiritual world."


The date

and cause of Buchmann's death have not yet been determined. He is

reportedly the second hiker to die on the mountain in the past seven

years.


Buchmann

had been on the last legs of a yearlong tour around the more

impoverished parts of the world in preparation for commencing his Ph.D

in public policy this fall. "He could have found a job in any

investment bank in Brazil or Wall Street and hit the jackpot," his

friends and family wrote on the Web site quickly created last month

to raise funds for search parties. "He wanted to make this place a

better world, and off he went on this global trip, to get to know the

poorest countries."