Reward for information leading to whereabouts of Jesse Galganov increased to $500,000

The family of Jesse Galganov, the Montreal man who disappeared a little over a year ago while on a hiking trip to Peru, now says a reward he's offering for information on his son has been increased to $500,000.

Jesse, 22 years old at the time of his disappearance, texted his mother on Sept. 28, 2017 to let her know he'd be out of cell phone range for a few days because he'd be hiking in the Peruvian Andes. That was the last anyone has heard from him.

Since then, family members have been to Peru several times, and hired a private Israeli search-and-rescue team in an attempt to locate Jesse. 

Initially, the family had offered a $10,000 reward, and then raised it to $30,000 — without success.

On Friday, Jesse's father Todd announced the reward would be bumped up to half a million dollars, and wondered out loud if there's a chance Jesse might still be alive, and being used as forced labor for some kind of drug cartel or illegal mining operation.

He says he's heard of other people being kidnapped in Peru, suffering that kind of fate.

"Maybe the people that did kidnap him...don't think that the money that we offered before was enough," Todd Galganov says. "That they didn't even react because he's worth more maybe he's worth more doing what he's doing.

"I don't know. I'm just a simple father from Montreal, so I'm going to try and say thank God I have family and friends that are backing me up, saying, 'Todd, go for it. Let's see what happens.'"