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Missing Cyclists Are Safe And Sound

Garrett Hand's mom, Francine Fitzgerald of Concord, held a press conference Wednesday saying she had spoken to her son for the first time in more than a month.

"I am so happy that my son is well," said a visibly relieved Francine Fitzgerald.

Fitzgerald is the mother of Garrett Hand who, with his girlfriend Jamie Neal, was thought to be missing in Peru since Jan. 26.

"I finally heard my son's voice today, and you all helped make that happen," she told a gathering of media outside her Concord home.

Hand and Neal were on a bicycle trip through South America since November. Fitzgerald became concerned when she stopped hearing from them on Jan. 25, and became truly alarmed when she read on the U.S. Embassy website that Americans should be extremely careful in the month of February, as they were likely to be targeted for criminal activity.

Fitzgerald recruited the embassy, Peruvian police and the American media to help her find the couple, who were located Tuesday on a boat. Though word made it to Fitzgerald, she was not convinced of his safety until, she said, she heard his voice with her own ears.

That happened today. And a frightening saga has turned into a tale of relief and gratitude.

Cynthia February 28, 2013 at 07:43 PM
I read that they had ventured into an area with no cell phone reception or electronics connections.
Carol Hess February 28, 2013 at 11:25 PM
I think that they purposely did all of this to get publicity and achieve their 15 minutes of fame and glean enough money to pay for the adventure.
Chris J Kapsalis February 28, 2013 at 11:58 PM
About everywhere in the US and Europe have some sort of communications these days, your never far from a cell tower or computer. Other third world countries and areas are much more desolate and it would be easy to be out of reach for days, especially if traveling by foot or bike, canoe. I disappeared off the map and out of touch for weeks sometimes in the 80's even in the US. Out in the desert or Even in the mountains of CA. I think these days we expect someone to pick up their cell or answer a text right away or we fear the worst. Never out of touch. Ever. Never used to be like this.

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