Watch CBSN Live

August Reiger Missing: Okla. high school valedictorian vanishes in South America, report says

August Reiger CBS affiliate KWTV

(CBS/AP) OKLAHOMA CITY - Relatives say August Reiger, an Oklahoma teenager, disappeared while hiking with his family in Ecuador. The teen's father, Chris Reiger, says his son disappeared Sunday while hiking in Banos.

Reiger, 18, graduated as a valedictorian last month from Oklahoma City's Classen School of Advanced Studies.

According to CBS affiliate KWTV, authorities in South America believe the teen may have been kidnapped. U.S. officials with the American Embassy in Ecuador told the station that they are monitoring the situation closely.

In a phone interview, Chris Reiger told the station that an extensive search is underway. He said the family was hiking on a mountain near their resort hotel when August walked ahead of the group then disappeared. He says authorities quickly responded and began searching the area, but there was no sign of his son.

Chris Reiger tells The Oklahoman he believes August either fell from a steep ledge or was kidnapped. He says the entire trail is visible from his hotel so it's unlikely his son got lost.

"I thought he must have gone on. You couldn't get lost. There's only two trails. You can see the whole town... all you have to do is go down," said the father over a phone interview with KWTV from his Ecuadorian hotel room.

Family and friends reportedly said that is unlikely  August would run away.

Relatives told the station that dozens of local officials and 60 members of the Ecuadorian military have been searching for August.

Chris Reiger says the family visited Ecuador because his son is fluent in Spanish and loves anthropology.

View CBS News In