Published: Jan 07, 2011 7:11 PM EST
Updated: Jan 07, 2011 4:11 PM EST

Downes' family statement:

"The family of Erik Downes would like to extend thanks and appreciation for the overwhelming support and concern that has been extended to them by family, friends, and individuals from his school community, our church community, and the community at large. We appreciate the hard work being done by the search and rescue teams and officials in the American and Costa Rican governments to find Erik. The kindness that is being expressed has been a source of strength for our family at this difficult time. We appreciate your continued prayers for Erik and his family. We also want to thank the media for respecting our privacy at this time."