An American woman who is slowly losing her eyesight has gone missing in Peru. Her family is trying to get the Red Cross to help.

Provided by Carlos ValpeozCarla Valpeoz.
  • Carla Valpeoz, an American woman with an irreversible condition that will make her blind, has gone missing while on a trip to Peru.
  • Valpeoz wanted to “see as much of the world and experience as much of the world as she possibly could,” her brother told INSIDER.
  • Valpeoz’s family is petitioning the US State Department to allow the Red Cross to conduct a search and rescue mission in the areas where she’s believed to have gone missing.

An American woman with a medical condition that will destroy her eyesight has gone missing during a trip to Peru.

Carla Valpeoz, a 35-year-old museum employee from Detroit, has been missing since Wednesday, December 12. She planned to take a bus from the Peruvian city of Cusco to Písac, a nearby town, her brother Carlos Valpeoz told INSIDER.

But the next day, she was supposed to meet with a friend in Lima with whom she’d fly back to Peru. She missed that meeting, as well as her flight later in the week. Peruvian police have been looking for her since December 15.

Valpeoz went to Peru to attend a wedding, her brother told INSIDER. She’s an experienced traveller and planned to spend the rest of the week seeing the countryside.

“Carla, her adventurous spirit, her fearless attitude, gave her determination to travel to this region by herself, and to see as much of the world and experience as much of the world as she possibly could,” he said.

Carla ValpeozProvided by Carlos ValpeozCarla Valpeoz.

Valpeoz was diagnosed with optic nerve atrophy when she was 10 years old. The irreversible condition means that Valpeoz will eventually lose her eyesight altogether. She uses a cane and is legally blind.

Based on information witnesses told authorities, Valpeoz’s family believes she may have been seen on December 12, on a hiking trail to Písac. They believe she could be in the nearby areas of Urubamba, the Sacred Valley, or Arequipa, Valpeoz’s brother told INSIDER.

In the days since the search for Valpeoz began, the United States State Department, the United States Consulate in Cusco, the FBI, and the Peruvian police have all deployed resources to investigate Valpeoz’s disappearance.

Now her family wants the Red Cross to send a specialised search and rescue team to investigate those areas. But they have hit a snag. The United States State Department, Valpeoz’s brother said, hasn’t given the Red Cross permission to get involved.

“I’ve attempted calling the American Red Cross to see if they can get involved by deploying a search and rescue team. This was highly advised by the investigators I am working closely with,” Carlos Valpeoz said. “The Red Cross stated, ‘We need a direct request from the US Embassy and State Dept to mobilize.'”

Carla Valpeoz 2Provided by Carlos ValpeozCarla Valpeoz.

With days passing since Carla’s disappearance, Valpeoz’s family believes a Red Cross mission is the best next step they could take. They’re petitioning US authorities to allow the Red Cross to get involved.

“Me and my family both agreed that it’s the best approach for this, in order to find out what exactly happened to Carla,” her brother said.

A representative for the United States Embassy in Lima, Peru, did not immediately respond to INSIDER’s request for comment.

People with information about Carla Valpeoz are encouraged to email Carlos Valpeoz at [email protected] They can follow developments in English and Spanish on a Facebook page dedicated to the search.

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