Timeline

This timeline covers Natacha's movements from when she landed in Lima, Peru, to the day she went missing in Cabanaconde. Find the following events below.

01 - 22/01/2022
23/01/2022
24/01/2022
25/01/2022
02/02/2022
04/02/2022
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Natacha flies from Brussels, Belgium to Lima, Perou for a 6 month trip to Latin America. After visiting visit Lima, Natacha goes with other backpackers to the Cordillera Blanca. She visits the Laguna Paron, the ruins of Chavin and the Querococha lake, then trek to Laguna 69 and the Pastoruri glacier.

 

From Cuzco, Natacha visits the Sacred Valley of the Incas and goes to the Rainbow Mountain and the Red Valley (Montaña Roja). Natacha joins a group of tourists, accompanied by 2 guides and a cook, first for or a trip to Manu National Park and then for a four day trek that ends at the Machu Picchu.

 

Natacha goes with a friend by bus to Puno, on the shores of Lake Titicaca, where she will celebrate her 28th birthday. She travels by boat to the Uros Islands where she rests, meets the local population and learns about their customs. She then travels to the island of Amantani, visits the island of Taquile and returns to Puno. After that, Natacha decides to travel on her own to the Colca Canyon. 

Alone, Natacha takes a first bus to Chivay and then a second bus to Cabanaconde, the village where the trek into the Colca Canyon begins. According to our information, Natacha arrives in Cabanaconde at 03:23 PM.

 

From 03:26 PM to 03:28 PM, Natacha is filmed by the camera of the Pachamama hotel. She does not stay there because the room is too expensive. The receptionist advises her of cheaper hotel: Mirko's House. From 04:00 PM to 05:00 PM, the GPS location recorded by the Polarstep application shows that Natacha walked towards the ruins of Kallimarca, outside the village.

 

Around 05:30 PM, Natacha sends her last messages to some of her friends. She uses the wifi of the Mirko's House hotel for 10 minutes. She cannot stay there because the hotel is closed due to COVID. She is told about the hotel La Estancia.

 

According to the manager of La Estancia, Natacha arrived at around 08:00 PM, put her bag in her room and left 5 minutes later to go out and eat. From 08:00 PM to 10:30 PM, Natacha eats alone at Chapi's Virgin restaurant in the village square and stays to read her e-book. Natacha returns to La Estancia around 11:00 PM and asks if she can leave her bag for 5 days, the duration of her trek.

According to the manager of La Estancia, Natacha leaves the hotel around 05:00 AM without having breakfast and headed to the left. Two witnesses say they saw Natacha at about 06:30 AM near the Mirador San Miguel (a 20 minute walk from Cabanaconde) where the trek to San Juan de Chucho starts. Natacha had however planned to meet 2 Belgian friends on the way to Llahuar, which is on the opposite side of Cabanaconde from the Mirador San Miguel.

Kevin Ramos, a young Peruvian, falls from a bridge on the Colca river in Yanque, just before the Canyon.

A first alert is launched by Natacha's friends on social networks and in the backpackers Facebook groups in Peru. The notice is then spread massively on social networks. Her friends and relatives contacted the accommodations in Cabanaconde, tourists whom Natacha had met during her trip to Peru and the local police.


In Cabanaconde, the search is launched in the Canyon and police officers investigated the three hotels: La Estancia, Mirko's House and Pachamama. Natacha's backpack is found at La Estancia.

Natacha's parents report her disappearance to the Belgian police. In Peru, a first search team descends into the Canyon to look for Natacha.

Since then...

From 05/02/2022 to 27/02/2022 - First visit to Peru by Eric and Sabine, Natacha's parents

  • The parents are supported and accompanied by the Belgian Embassy to make the necessary arrangements with the Peruvian authorities and police.

  • They go to Cabanaconde to participate and coordinate the search.

  • From the very beginning, they ask the police to conduct an investigation for homicide and trafficking in women, in parallel with the search in the Canyon.

  • Numerous volunteer rescuers search for Natacha in the first few days. They are relayed by 80 police officers and high mountain rescuers who search for Natacha in the Canyon for 3 weeks, accompanied by a tracking dog and a drone.

  • A team from the Divincri (Homicide) in Arequipa interviews witnesses and carries out luminol tests in the three hotels. They find no traces of blood and conclude that it is not a homicide.

  • The parents cover part of the expenses of Eloy Cacya, a volunteer rescue guide from the region, and his team, who have been searching for Natacha since the beginning and will continue the search until she is found.

  • An appeal for witnesses is launched by the parents on the local radio.

  • Huge media coverage in Belgium and Peru.

  • The parents are impressed by the immense solidarity and the many messages of support they received from everywhere.

  • The Belgian police take over the investigation of Natacha's phone, computer and mobile applications.

  • Three Belgian police officers travel to Cabanaconde for five days to collaborate with the Peruvian police.

 

From 27/02/2022 to 03/04/2022 - Return of the parents to Belgium

  • The Belgian police persuade the parents to return to Belgium with them: the search is ongoing but the rainy season complicates the search in the canyon.

  • A support group "Looking for Natacha" is launched by Natacha's friends and parents. A website, a Facebook page and an Instagram account provide all the information.

  • On 07/03/2022, the searches are abandoned, the teams of rescuers and police officers return home. The rainy season and earthquakes make access to the canyon impossible.

  • The parents meet Sophie Wilmès, Belgian Minister of Foreign Affairs.

  • On 27/03/2022, Natacha's parents meet the various people in charge of the case in Belgium to take stock of the situation: the prosecutor, the lawyer, the victim support, the disappearance unit, the federal police, the representative of Foreign Affairs.

From 04/04/2022 to 22/07/2022 - Parents return to Peru for the second time

  • They go to Arequipa to meet a lawyer who will advise and represent them.

  • The Ambassador accompanies them to meet the prosecutor and the General in charge of the case.

  • The police wait until the river recedes and the harvest begins in early June before resuming the search in the canyon.

  • Without clues, the police can't investigate a homicide. They are waiting for the body to find out what happened.

  • The parents, together with the police and their lawyer, put up a reward of USD 15,000 for information leading to the location of Natacha.

  • The parents put up posters in Cabanaconde, the Canyon, Arequipa and Chivay.

  • The parents go to Cabanaconde to meet the locals, conduct their own investigation and search for Natacha in the Canyon.

  • They send out press releases and respond to media interviews to tell what is going on and to lobby for an investigation into the homicide and trafficking of women.

  • A couple of friends, together with the support group Looking for Natacha, decide to organise a March of Hope on 22/05/2022 in Brussels.

  • Parents and friends in Cabanaconde and Arequipa decided to organise similar Marches for Natacha and Kevin in Peru, in Cabanaconde, Arequipa and Chivay.

  • Sunday 22 May 2022, organisation of 4 Green Marches of Hope in solidarity and support with Natacha and her parents, at the Boitsfort racecourse in Brussels, in front of the cathedral in Arequipa, in Cabanaconde and in Chivay. The 3 Peruvian marches were also organised for Kevin Ramos. Numerous media repercussions.

  • The parents meet an investigative journalist who decides to help and accompany them.

  • The parents meet with the Dirincri (Homicide) officials in Arequipa to ask for the investigation to be re-launched.

  • The parents decide to go to Lima to put pressure on the authorities to resume the investigation.

  • On 28/05/2022, publication of the report by Herless Alvarez in the Somos supplement of the Peruvian newspaper El Commercio.

  • The parents meet with a team from the Dirincri of Lima specialised in homicide and with the General to request that they analyse the case and resume the investigation.

  •  On 02/06/2022, the parents meet Diana Miloslavich, Peruvian Minister for Women, who tells them that a decree allowing the investigation of presumed homicide in cases of disappearance was passed in April. They learn that more than 1,000 women disappear every month in Peru.

  • The Embassy meet with the Ministers of the Interior and Justice and the General-in-Chief of the Dirincri to request that a new investigation into homicide and trafficking in women be carried out by a team of specialised police officers from Lima.

  • The People's Defence and the NGO Flora Tristan (Feminist Activists) agreed to take on Natacha's case.

  • From June to August, a team of high mountain police officers searched the Colca River for 26 days in search of Kevin and Natacha. Without results, they abandoned the search in mid-August.

  • From 15 June to 5 July: 5 police officers from the Dirincri (homicide and trafficking in women unit) carry out a new investigation in Cabanaconde. They find and search an annex in the courtyard of La Estancia, the hotel where Natacha spent her last night, which could have been used as a hideout. The press revealed that traces of blood had been found there. The police brought back to Lima what they had found there. A laboratory carried out analyses to find traces of Natacha's DNA and thus obtain evidence to arrest the possible suspects.

  • On 7 July, the parents' DNA was taken. The parents met with the team of Lima police officers who had conducted the investigation. They are competent, motivated and promise to do everything possible to find Natacha.

  • The parents meet with other parents of missing women and participate in a demonstration for Truth and Justice. In Peru, there is no investigation for homicide in cases of disappearance and without evidence, the case is closed after 8 months. Natacha's case should serve as an example!

  • The parents are changing lawyers and are now collaborating with a criminal lawyer from Arequipa who will work under the supervision of Flora Tristan's lawyers.

From 21/07/2022 to 11/09/2022 - Return of Natacha's parents to Belgium

  • While waiting for the results of the laboratory, the parents decided to return to Belgium for family reasons. In the end, no trace of Natacha's DNA was found by the laboratory.

  • The rescue equipment (wetsuits, ropes, carabiners, binoculars, walkie-talkies...) and mountain boots offered to Eloy and his volunteers arrived in Arequipa. Thanks to the Municipality of Linkebeek, Belgian Foreign Affairs and Decathlon. 

  • From the 1st to the 10th of August, the Lima police officers went back to Arequipa for a second mission to find a new witness and take his statement. Unfortunately, the statement was not conclusive.

  • On 7 September, the parents meet Hadja Lahbib, the new Minister of Foreign Affairs, who assured them of Belgium's continued diplomatic support.

From 12/09/2022 - Parents' third visit to Peru

  • The parents go back to Peru to accompany the third mission of the police of Lima.

The investigation to find Natacha continues!