MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A 20-year-old Minnesota man is missing and presumed dead after relatives say he fell hundreds of feet while hiking in India.

Victoria Brenner, the aunt of Tom Plotkin, said he was doing the Milam Glacier Trek in India when he fell 984 feet to the ledge below. Brenner said they believe he then fell another 2,000 feet into the Ganges River.

“When they repelled and looked for his body, they repelled down the face of the cliff and they found his head lamp and his jacket by the rivers edge,” said Plotkin’s aunt Sara Brenner.

Brenner said he is presumed dead. Plotkin’s body has not yet been found.

Plotkin was a junior at the University of Iowa but was doing a semester program abroad through the National Outdoor Leadership School, based in Wyoming.

Brenner said he was an extraordinary kid who always found the time to play Scrabble with his grandma before hanging out with his own friends.

He graduated from Hopkins High School in 2009.

Comments (15)
  1. Exp says:

    And the next headline will be: Person falls to death off Grand Canyon rim.

    It’s not which country you hike in, unless you’re doing so in countries that have political problems. The danger is in the terrain you do it in. This young man could have just as easily died on an Alaska glacier.

    My condolences to the family for their horrifying loss.

  2. natemann133 says:

    Can’t see a story about a dead young person without a-holes like you, huh?

    1. sanford plotkin says:

      Thanks. That was actually my nephew. An extremely empathic, sensitive soul. Freak accidents happen, and yes, sometimes it does seem that only the good die young.

  3. df says:

    Why was he in India?

    1. I can read says:

      My wild a&& guess is that he was doing a semester program abroad. But I have no idea why I think that.

      1. laughs at clever replies says:


      2. frozenrunner says:

        google NOLS and see the irony oof the fall.

    2. Moni in the middle says:

      “doing a semester program abroad”

      People should really read the story before asking dumb questions…..

  4. LOW IQ !!! STUPID PEOPLE !! says:


  5. MAJ says:

    Accidents happen. So sorry for all those that loved him and will miss him. RIP

  6. goodguy says:

    Sad how people can make jokes about people that have died. I can’t imagine most people going to a funeral and making jokes or snide comments about the deceased, but put them at a keyboard (with no face-toface) and all sensitivity and respect is gone.

    1. sanford plotkin says:

      My nephew Tom would have been the one to try and rescue “Low IQ” from Iran, or pay “sick’s” ransom.

  7. Gloria says:

    So sad; condolences to the family and friends. I hope they find his remains.

  8. TLB says:

    I feel really bad for Gramma…

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