Since The Daily Beast’s original “Lost Girls” investigation last summer, additional evidence and archives have come to light, forcing a re-think of our conclusions. We now know that more than two dozen other victims also were reported in the same region of Panama, including a young woman from the United States found murdered earlier this year. A return trip to the scene of these events—as well as renewed sleuthing by best-selling author Dr. Kathy Reichs and other forensic specialists—provides a fresh take on these cold cases.
In the first chapter of this series, we traveled to the last place Kris Kremers and Lisanne Froon, two young Dutch women killed three years ago, were known to have been alive and apparently signalling for help. In the second chapter, we looked at the usual and unusual suspects and witnesses in the “Lost Girls” case. In the third chapter, we visited the Serpent River, where key evidence was found—and where we discovered it had been universally misinterpreted. In this article we visit a Panama morgue, and in the next and last segment we will look at whether the case of American Catherine Johannet, strangled to death in February, may fit into a larger pattern of murder cover-ups.
BOQUETE, Panama—There’s an old saw among forensic anthropologists and archaeologists that “the truth is in the bones.”