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Hope Dims For Palo Alto Woman Missing on Iran's Highest Peak Mount Damavand

August 27 2004 at 9:41 AM
roger  (Login dipper)

Response to August 2004 Accidents/Rescues

Kathleen Namphy, a retired Stanford University lecturer and Palo Alto resident, went missing while hiking a mountain in Iran this week and is presumed dead, according to Namphy's daughter, Lisa-Marie Namphy.

The younger Namphy said she got a call from the Swiss Embassy on Monday, informing her that her mother had disappeared while climbing the 18,600-foot Mount Damavand, the highest mountain in Iran.

Because they hadn't found her body, the embassy changed the 69-year-old Namphy's status to missing but presumed dead on Monday night, according to her daughter.

Throughout the week, Lisa-Marie said rescue teams searched for her mother. This morning, officials from the embassy said they have found a body and are in the process of identifying it.

In addition to being an emeritus lecturer in English and the Humanities at Stanford for approximately 30 years, Kathleen was a mother of four, and a grandmother.

Lisa-Marie said that one of her brothers is on his way to Iran to sort out the details surrounding Kathleen's disappearance and possible death.

Every year, Kathleen and a group of others go hiking to raise awareness for breast cancer. According to Lisa-Marie, the group originally planned to head to Mount Damavand this year but later changed their minds about the location.

Namphy had her heart set on the Damavand summit, and she set out to reach it with a different group. She planned to hit the summit on Sunday and was likely headed back down when she slipped and hit her head, Lisa-Marie said.

A member of Kathleen's group told Lisa-Marie that he left her injured mother under the watch of some Kurdish hikers, who volunteered to stay while Kathleen's friend got help.

By the time help arrived on the scene, both Kathleen and the Kurdish hikers were gone, the friend reportedly told Lisa-Marie.

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