Missing California Couple Found On Boat In Peru

Aric Mitchell - Author

Aug. 16 2013, Updated 3:10 a.m. ET

A missing California couple were found alive on a boat in Peru, according to a Facebook message posted by family.

Reuters added on Tuesday, February 26, that ABC News had received confirmation Garrett Hand and girlfriend Jamie Neal, both 25, were “safe and surprised” to hear that a search for their whereabouts was underway.

Friends and family of Hand and Neal said they had not heard from the couple for about a month and feared them kidnapped.

Jeff Jerge, Neal’s boss at The Pedaler bike shop, told ABC News he was “beyond worried” for the couple on Monday.”It’s kind of like it was a dream trip for them,” added Jerge’s wife Kim. “It’s their first big adventure.”

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Hand’s mother said on Tuesday that Peruvian authorities and the US Embassy had contacted her and revealed the couple were spotted in a remote village and had since boarded a boat, but did not reveal any further details.

Hand and Neal were cycling enthusiasts, and Neal had been keeping friends and family posted of their adventures on Facebook.

Her last update was on January 25: “Finally found Kraft Mac ‘n’ cheese in South America! Stoked LOL.”

If reports of Hand and Neal’s safety hold up, it will mark the second happy ending for missing persons in the last two months.

In January, a boy, who had been missing for 19 years, was found alive in Indiana.

Do you think reports of Hand and Neal’s disappearance were premature due to hypervigilant social networking, or well-founded?

[Image via ShutterStock]


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