A California couple on a “dream trip” biking in Peru are now missing.
The US State Department has confirmed that Jamie Neal and boyfriend Garrett Hand, both 25, have gone missing after a “once in a lifetime” biking trip through South America.
The California couple began their journey around the November/December transition, said Jamie Neal’s boss, Jeff Jerge. She works at the Pedaler, a bike shop in California run by Jeff Jerge.
According to ABC News, Jeff Jerge said:
“I’m beyond worried. I’m super concerned.”
Jeff Jerge said that Jamie Neal and Garrett Hand had known each other for a while. They began dating last summer and planned their bike trip together through South America. Garrett Hand is a fisherman from Alaska.
Jeff Jerge’s wife Kim said:
“It’s kind of like it was a dream trip for them. It’s their first big adventure.”
Jeff Jerge, who has been running his bike shop for two years, said:
“They wanted to originally ride from here to South America, and we thought going through Mexico was particularly dangerous, so we talked to them about skipping that, and they did decide to fly down to South America and start their trip there. At the point they wanted to leave, we all felt it was potentially dangerous.”
Throughout their bicycle trip through South America, Jamie Neal and Garrett Hand posted updates and pictures to Facebook, their last of which being on January 25:
“Finally found Kraft Mac ‘n’ cheese in South America! Stoked LOL.”
Jamie Neal was a lover of bicycling and a talented mechanic, and the couple had the trip well planned out.
What do you think happened to the California couple who went missing in Peru?