TULSA -- The Oklahoma City teen that has been missing for a week in Ecuador is now considered a missing person by Ecuadorian officials, his family says.
Those closest to the young man are still trying to find out what happened.
One week ago, August Reiger was on a family vacation in Banos, Ecuador. He was traveling with Randa and Chris, his mother and father, and his younger brother Laithe. They were celebrating August's high school graduation.
But a quick change in plans and the story turned tragic.
"They were hiking as a family together. He went off a little bit ahead and they were going to meet up, but they didn't find him," Crystal Ghere said.
Ghere lives in Tulsa and is one of August's cousins.
For the last week, August's family has been working with the authorities to find him and looking for any possible leads.
His family back home in Oklahoma, including Ghere, are trying to help but the distance has made that a challenge.
"It makes us feel helpless and we are so far away from the family right now, who are in Ecuador, so it is really hard," Ghere said. "The whole situation is just completely surreal."
Over the weekend additional family members flew to Ecuador, hoping to help in the search for August as they try to cope with his disappearance.
One of those relatives is his cousin Shannon Schmoyer. She said having many questions and not many answers has been tough on the family.
"Not having any idea," Schmoyer said. "Here is a kid who was a full ride to University of Oklahoma, a national merit scholar, valedictorian, had his whole life in front of him and he has just disappeared."
August's friend Pedro Negrete lives in Ecuador. He has also made a Facebook page - in Spanish
, the common language in Ecuador. With close to 1,500 likes, August's family hope it makes a difference.
"Trying to get people there locally to try and help find him. I think that kind of support is great," Ghere said.
As his family waits, they're trying to remain positive. They have no leads on where August is, but also no leads to make them believe he isn't in any danger.
"In our hearts, he is still out there. Waiting on us to find him and bring him home," Ghere said.
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