Michigan woman, legally blind, goes missing on vacation in Peru: ‘Please help,’ family asks

Michigan woman, legally blind, goes missing on vacation in Peru: ‘Please help,’ family asks

DETROIT — A legally blind social activist from Detroit has gone missing in Peru in a disappearance that has triggered a U.S. State Department and Peruvian police investigation with her family pleading for the public’s help in finding her.

Carla Valpeoz, a 35-year-old social worker and trailblazer for the visually impaired, has not been heard from since Wednesday when she was staying at the Pariwana Hostel in Cusco, a city in the Andes about 350 miles southeast of the country’s capital of Lima but almost 700 miles by car. She has missed her flights home, her phone has been off for days and investigators are looking into her credit-card activity for clues on her whereabouts, according to family and friends.

Valpeoz, a worldwide traveler and author of Visionless Adventures, had gone to Peru with a friend for a wedding and had planned to stay two weeks touring various sites.

She spent the first six days of the trip in Lima with her friend, Alicia Steele, 32, of Detroit. The two were supposed to return Saturday to the United States.

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After the wedding, Steele said Valpeoz had planned to go to Machu Picchu, an ancient Incan village abandoned in the 15th century and one of the most popular tourist sites of Peru. Valpeoz went alone on that trip and had plans to meet Steele on Thursday in Lima.

On 11:47 p.m. EST Dec. 11, Steele received a text message from her friend about her trip to Machu Picchu: 

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