SEATTLE — The death toll from the earthquake in Nepal has risen to more than 4,600 — and many more people are unaccounted for, including two teens from Seattle.
The Meola and Schumacher families are staying optimistic that they will find their 19-year-old daughters, Bailey Meola and Sydney Schumacher.
The two girls had been trekking the Langtang trail. On Tuesday, they got news that the girls are not in the village, Kyanjin Gumba, where there are known survivors.
The teens had just graduated from Garfield High School and were taking an around-the-world trip, with a stop in Nepal.
The family said an anthropologist reported seeing the two on April 24, just one day before a 7.8 earthquake hit Nepal and aftershocks destroyed villages nearby.
“I think you caught me at a low moment, but it`s very hard to wait and be so helpless,” said Diane Schumacher, Sydney’s mother.
One of the villages wiped out is Langtang, right near the girls' last known campsite, according to the family.
Schumacher just received word that her daughter isn`t in Kyanjin Gumba, where there are known survivors and the family had hoped the girls took cover.
“It made me visit the dark place where I worry that we may never find them,” said Gumba.
Paul Schumacher is Sydney`s older brother. He took the same hiking trip three years ago and knows what kind of conditions the girls face.
“You`re basically trekking up a valley between two peaks that are 4,000 feet above you,” said Paul Schumacher.
Since the quake, he`s been scouring the Internet for news and thinking of ways he can help.
“I`m just trying to go there, and I want to get a helicopter and go fly the places I think she could be and look,” said Paul Schumacher.
It's a desperation two families are feeling as they hope for the best, but fear the worst.
“We don`t think that our daughters are more valuable than all of the other people that are trying to get rescued, but they are our daughters, and we need them back," said Diana Schumacher.
The families have started a joint fund to help find Bailey and Sydney. Click on the link below: