Latin America

"Missing" American Couple in Peru Was off Having Fun

Overprotective mom roped government into tracking them down


In November, 25-year-old Garrett Hand and his 25-year-old girlfriend Jamie Neal flew from their California home to South America for a four-month bike trip. Before the couple left, they informed their friends and family that, for some of their trip (as they traveled through jungles and rainforests), they would be out of cellphone and Internet range.

In January, they passed out of cellphone range. In February, Garrett's mom demanded the Peruvian government launch a full-scale search for the couple, whom she believed to be missing.

What they actually were, was "having a blast."