A bay area couple reported missing in Peru has been found safe, a family member tells CBS13.
Jennifer Neal told CBS13 on Tuesday that her sister, Jamie Neal, and Jamie’s boyfriend, Garrett Hand, have been found and are fine.
Jamie and Garrett were reportedly in a little town in Peru when someone told Garrett that police were looking for them, Jennifer says. Garrett then contacted police and gave them his passport number.
But Peruvian authorities say they won’t be able to confirm Garrett’s identity until he reaches the border on Wednesday.
The couple was on a trip of a lifetime, setting out to ride their bicycles from Oakland to South America. They had maintained contact with relatives on a regular basis until January 25, the last time Jennifer heard from them.
“They’ve been keeping us updated, the whole family through facebook,” said Jennifer, who lives in West Sacramento.
Fearing the worst, Jennifer spoke to CBS13’s Derek Shore on Monday night about what may have happened.
“I just have this nasty gut feeling that something’s wrong,” she said.
The couple’s journey very likely took them to areas with no cell phone reception. But family members said the silence went on for too long, so they reached out to the State Department for help.
“She’s always been an adventurer, doing this kind of stuff; she rides her bike everywhere,” Jennifer said.
Jamie lived in Sacramento prior to moving to the bay area. Some of her friends still living in Sacramento had planned to hold a fundraiser to raise money to aid in search efforts.