KERRVILLE - Kerrville sleuth Steve Rambam is on the trail again and his latest assignment will take him to Ecuador, where the steamy political climate and the dense jungles produce an atmosphere hostile to Americans.
Rambam, the 32-year-old private investigator who lives on pal Kinky Friedman's Echo Hill ranch, has embarked on another humanitarian effort, this time to find a missing son of an Israeli...
``The boy's probably dead; he's been missing for six years,'' Rambam says matter-of-factly. ``Given the situation in Ecuador, if his parents haven't heard from him in all this time, there's little chance I'll find him alive.''
Rambam's candor is standard equipment with this real-life detective, who was portrayed in Friedman's novels. A private investigator since age 18 .. Rambam now heads a..service with offices in New York, Orlando, Los Angeles, Toronto and San Antonio.
Lately, he's been campaigning to raise the public consciousness about inadequate airport security, successfully smuggling a fake handgun through San Antonio airport checkpoints. In fact, Rambam and Kerrville attorney Scott Monroe are putting together a non-profit organization to encourage Texas legislators to heighten airport security.
While some of his detective work is glamorous, high-profile stuff, such as coordinating security for foreign officials visiting America, most of his cases are rather traditional. The majority are missing persons, and most of those are teen-agers.
The subject of Rambam's latest search is Horan Muebner, who was 23 when he disappeared from the Hotel Norte in Quito in 1983. Muebner, a student, was traveling around the world after completing three years' mandatory service in the Israeli army.
Rambam dismisses any notion that Muebner chose to disappear. ``He was a good kid, not involved with drugs, and he had lots of contact with his parents throughout his travels,'' Rambam says... ...