[caption id="attachment_62564" align="alignright" width="300"] Couple Missing In Peru Safe On River Boat: Mother Waits For Proof[/caption]Missing California Couple Found on Peru River Boat
A young couple from California making a cycling trip through Peru who were thought to have been abducted have been found safe and sound aboard a boat making river passage to Equador.
Family members and friends started to panic when they did not receive any calls or messages from Garrett Hand and girlfriend Jamie Neal for almost 30 days.
Family members then contacted authorities in Peru, asking them to launch a search for the couple from Oakland, CA. Because the couple had been traveling through a region known for heightened risk of kidnapping, relatives and friends thought it likely that the pair had been abducted.
The couple expressed surprise that a massive international search had been launched for them and explained that their long silence had merely been caused by traveling through remote areas where phone and internet service did not allow for any communication.
Hand's mother, however, said she wouldn't rest until she received a phone call from her son.
"Proof of life is my son's voice on the phone and a picture of him holding the missing poster," she said in a statement.
"The information told to me is that they are on a boat on the river and that they are sending a plane to find them. I am told to expect information by tomorrow sometime," Fitzgerald's statement reads. "While I appreciate the extraordinary efforts of the media, the U.S. and Peruvian governments, until I hear from and see my son directly, we will not stop."
According to CNN, the couple, who hail from the San Francisco area, left last November and began a series of social media posts chronicling the trip of their dreams -- a four-month bike adventure through South America.
"Will be riding my bike in other countries and out of contact for 4 months!" Neal wrote in a November Facebook post before flying with Hand to Buenos Aires, Argentina.
"Let me reiterate, until we have PROOF OF LIFE, we cannot celebrate these rumors and sightings," she wrote on a Facebook page set up to facilitate a search for the couple. "Proof of life is my son's voice on the phone and a picture of him holding the missing poster."
On The Web:
California couple feared missing in Peru turn up on safe on river boat
Peru says American couple found; family wants 'proof of life'