California couple reported missing in Peru turn up on boat

Reuters News
Posted: Feb 26, 2013 6:53 PM

(Reuters) - A young California couple reported missing and feared kidnapped while on a cycling trip through Peru have turned up on river boat in the Andean nation, the mother of one the pair said in an online statement posted on Tuesday.

Garrett Hand and his girlfriend, Jamie Neal, had last been heard from by friends and family about a month ago. Hand's mother said in a Facebook message that she was informed by the U.S. Embassy and Peruvian authorities that the couple had since been spotted in a remote village and were now on a boat, but she gave few other details of their whereabouts or well-being.

ABC News, citing an account from Peru's tourism ministry, has reported that the couple were safe and surprised to hear that a search had been organized for them as they traveled by boat from Peru to Ecuador.

(Reporting by Laila Kearney and Steve Gorman; Writing by Steve Gorman; Editing by Cynthia Johnston)