Peru: FBI agents join search for U.S. citizen in Cusco

08:58 | Lima, Dec. 27.

Peru's National Police (PNP) confirmed that U.S. Department of Justice Federal Bureau of Investigation's (FBI) agents have arrived in Cusco and joined the investigation and search for Carla Valpeoz —a 35-year-old tourist from the United States who has been missing in the Imperial City for two weeks.

According to PNP Colonel Manuel Mar, specialists and the U.S. Embassy bring support to more than 50 police officers from Lima, Cusco, and Arequipa deployed across Pisaq district, Pisaq Archaeological Park, and its environs to find her.

Arequipa sent mountain rescue specialists, while Lima deployed its intelligence officers and drone squad in dangerous areas that are only reachable by remote-controlled pilotless aircraft.

Carla's father, Carlos Lopez Valpeoz, takes part in the search operation as well.

The investigation has made progress, and the latest reports confirm Carla reached the archaeological park and used the entrance ticket —not the exit one— that suggests she is still within the area or used a different route to get out.

"Our hypothesis is that she is still up there. The park guard punched the admission ticket, not the exit one. She might have taken a different route, an unusual path, on the way down," Mar explained.

Nevertheless, he affirmed Kallpas personnel, the emergency squad, mountain rescuers, Peru's Criminal Investigation Department (DIRINCRI), the tourism police, and intelligence officers remain in the area.

The U.S. national arrived in Cusco in order to visit the Inca citadel of Machu Picchu and climb the Huayna Picchu Summit.

It was her friend Alicia Ann Steele, 32, who reported the disappearance. They were both in Lima when Carla left for Cusco on December 10 to take the Machu Picchu-Huayna Picchu tour.

Since then, they kept in touch via WhatsApp until December 12, when her phone ran out of battery, apparently.

Carla was supposed to fly back to Lima on December 14 at 6:45 PM and start her return home the next day.

The U.S citizen is blind and uses a cane while traveling. She is missing and was traveling with her green backpack.


Published: 12/28/2018