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Czech expat finds remains of missing hiker in central Taiwan

Novotny has performed similar services several times before

Petr Novotny (Beast Runners photo)

Petr Novotny (Beast Runners photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A hiker surnamed Yang (楊) who had been missing for one month was found dead in a central Taiwan mountain stream on Monday (Nov. 8) by Czech expat Petr Novotny, a skilled outdoorsman renowned for tracking down lost hikers, CNA reported.

Yang, who lived in Yilan County, went alone to climb Mt. Zaisheng and Mt. Nenggao in Nantou County's Jen'ai Township during the Double Ten holiday. He started hiking on Oct. 9 and planned to return on Oct. 11, but when he did not return as planned, his family reported him missing.

After search-and-rescue teams from the Nantou County Fire Bureau and other government and civil organizations failed to find Yang for over 10 days, the distraught family offered NT$300,000 (US$10,345) to anyone who could locate their loved one. However, Yang was still nowhere to be found until Novotny joined the search.

Novotny, a skilled mountaineer and trail runner, has participated in a number of search-and-rescue missions in recent years.

In another incident, he found the body of a hiker surnamed Huang (黃) at the bottom of a deep valley four days after the man had gone missing while climbing Mt. Baigu in central Taiwan on Sept. 19.

After learning about Yang’s case, Novotny went searching for him several times. The Czech finally found the man’s body in a mountain stream at an altitude of about 1,600 meters above sea level on Monday, according to CNA.

Judging from lost equipment found along the way, it’s believed the remains were those of Yang, Novotny’s wife, Eva Lobo said. She added that Yang’s family had invited local Indigenous people, along with Novotny, to help with the search.

After searching many places, Novotny made a last attempt on Monday to check out an area full of waterfalls and rough terrain that requires rock climbing to traverse. It was during this final search that Novotny found Yang's body.

According to Lobo, in order to increase the chances of finding the missing hiker, Novotny studied the equipment Yang carried as well as his Facebook and Instagram accounts in order to get an insight into his thinking. It’s believed that Yang was on the right track but may have been swept away by surging stream currents due to Typhoon Kompasu.

Yang’s family will arrange for his body to be carried out of the mountains, she added.