The family of a blind social worker who vanished after traveling to Peru for a wedding held a vigil Sunday night in Michigan to thank her supporters.
“I’m asking — pleading that everyone in their prayers, in their thoughts of Carla, be active, be present, in future because we need to keep this story alive so we have a chance to find Carla,” her mother Maria Valpeoz said, according to WXYZ Detroit. The vigil was held on Belle Isle in the Detroit River.
Carla Valpeoz, 35, vanished over a week ago in the South American country.
Carlos Valpeoz, her brother, told Fox News via email: “Carla is an incredible humanitarian and wonderful person. She has devoted her life to helping other people despite her extreme disability. We are hopeful that this will get resolved soon and she will come back safe and healthy to the United States. Thank you to the community in Detroit for all their support. To her friends all over the world for spreading this story. The outpouring of love is incredible. Please come back to us Carla. We love you.”
Carla, 35, is 5 feet, 1 inch tall, with brown hair and brown eyes, and she travels using a cane, as The Detroit Free Press.
Her brother added: “She was last seen between 3:45 p.m.-4:15 a.m. by her new friends that she met at Machu Picchu at the Pariwana Hostel on December 12.”
Carlos told Fox News the latest he knew about his sister’s case last week. “Police are saying they have her on video sometime in the morning after (December 12) getting into a taxi. They are investigating the destination of the taxi driver, and apparently have questioned him.”
Carlos said his sister’s roommate awoke to find her and her belongings gone, according to previous reports. He said security footage showed she took a taxi from the hostel. She later missed her flight home to the U.S.
He added the U.S. State Department told her family she may have ridden a shuttle to another location near Cusco.
The State Department responded: “We are aware of media reports regarding a U.S. citizen missing in Cusco, Peru. The U.S. Department of State and our embassies and consulates abroad have no greater responsibility than the protection of U.S. citizens overseas. Due to privacy concerns, we have no further comment.”
“We know she is out alive,” said Maria Valpeoz, Carla’s mother, at Sunday’s vigil.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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