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Legally blind woman from Detroit missing in Peru


An American woman who is legally blind and eventually will totally lose her sight is missing in Peru, where she was touring after attending a wedding.
Carla Valpeoz, a 35-year-old social activist and experienced traveler from Detroit, was last seen December 12 in the city of Cusco, where a cab driver dropped her off near an area where people can catch buses, her brother Carlos Valpeoz said.
Carla Valpeoz had expressed interest in visiting PĂ­sac, a Peruvian village about 35 kilometers (22 miles) northeast of Cusco, he said.
There isn't any record of her getting on a bus or any account from a bus driver, the brother said.
"Carla is a very determined person, a humanitarian in her community, a leader devoted to life, to travel and immersing herself," he said Tuesday. "Since an early age, our family has prepared her for when she would lose her sight and that's why she wants to see so much."
He added that his sister would not put herself in a position that was dangerous. She now has what he termed as very low vision.
Alicia Steele, a friend of Carla Valpeoz, became concerned when she didn't show upon Thursday in Lima, where the two were to fly back to the United States two days later, Carlos Valpeoz said.
eele stayed in Peru and Valpeoz's father arrived Monday.
"Call me, my child. Let us know where you are," he said in Spanish, according to CNN affiliate TV Peru. "Or ask someone near you for help. Have them call the TV station, have them call the police."
CNN reached out to authorities in Peru on Tuesday but didn't receive an immediate response.
The US State Department said it has no greater priority than the safety of US citizens abroad, and that they're aware of media reports about the missing woman, but can't comment further at this time.
She wants to bridge cultures
In videos posted last year to YouTube, Valpeoz says she was diagnosed with optic nerve atrophy when she was 10 years old. The American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus says the condition is "mild to severe damage to the optic nerve that can adversely affect central vision, peripheral vision and color vision." There is no treatment that can reverse optic nerve atrophy, it says.

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