Nearly 100 days since disappearance of Detroit woman in Peru, family hoping US government will help with search

Posted at 10:33 PM, Mar 21, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-22 13:15:46-04

(WXYZ) — Family and friends of missing Detroiter Carla Valpeoz are hosting a fundraiser at the Arab American National Museum in Dearborn on Saturday evening.

Carla’s brother, Carlos Valpeoz, says their father has been in Peru since the days after she was reported missing on Dec. 15 in Lima, and the money from the fundraiser will be used to support his investigative efforts into Carla’s disappearance.

“We honestly believe that if my father leaves that country, then this investigation is going to end very abruptly and it will most likely turn into a cold case,” said Carlos Valpeoz.

She was last seen on camera in Pisac, reportedly heading toward an archaeological site that she hoped to explore.

“We don't have evidence that shows my sister entering the park," Carlos said. "Throughout the entire investigation, that has been the biggest question – whether she went in or not.".

Carlos tells 7 Action News that the family has been able to confirm some witness accounts of Carla in Pisac, but need assistance from the United States Government to find her.

“We’ve uncovered a lot of nefarious activities in the sacred valley," he said. "There’s evidence of human trafficking and organ trafficking, It’s a developing country. Peruvians have very limited resources. Half of the police officers don’t even have their own vehicles and have to pay for gas. The United States does not have jurisdiction to send agents, agencies or personal on the ground.”

Carlos is spending a few days in Michigan around the fundraiser, taking care of some things at Carla’s home, and meeting with Michigan politicians and their staffs, including Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, Sen. Gary Peters, Sen. Debbie Stabenow and Congresswoman Rashida Tliab.

“Our goal is for U.S. intervention," Carlos said. "To elevate the urgency in my sister’s case, my family desperately needs help from the United States government."

Carlos says his family is holding hope that she is alive.

“I don’t know what happened to my sister," Carlos said. "At this point, nobody seems to know. She could have been abducted. She could be held somewhere for various reasons. She could have suffered a traumatic head injury and not have any recollection of who she is. All of these scenarios are very extreme. My family’s not losing hope. We’re all still hopeful that we’re going to bring my sister back to the United States.”

The family created a GoFundMe account seeking support for search efforts.