Open letter

Linkebeek - Belgium, 21 March 2022
 

Our daughter Natacha left Belgium on 1 January 2022 for a six-month trip to Latin America. A break of a few months to discover the world but also to think about what she wants to do with her life. Peru is her first destination. On January 24th at 5am, she left her hotel in Cabanaconde for a solo trek of a few days in the Colca Canyon. Since then, we have not heard from her.

After visiting Peru and its wonders (Lima, Cuzco, Machu Pichu, Lake Titicaca, the Cordillera Blanca, the Amazon...) and undertaking several treks in groups, Natacha wanted to be alone, to disconnect and to take her time in the oasis of the Canyon to prepare the next part of her trip. She took her ticket to fly to Bogota (Colombia) on February 4th. She spoke enthusiastically about her trip and told us not to worry if we didn't hear from her for a few days.

On 23 January, she left Puno by bus and arrived at Cabanaconde around 3.30 pm. She first went to the Pachamama hotel, too expensive for her, then to Mirko House, closed because of the COVID, and finally to El Estancia where she slept and left her big bag for 5 days. Between 4 and 5 pm, she wandered in the surrounding countryside but where did she leave her big bag and who gave her directions? She connected to Mirko's wifi and sent her last messages to friends, between 5 and 5.30 pm. After that, her mobile phone shows no connection. She arrived at La Estancia at 8:00 pm but what did she do in the meantime? From 8pm to 10.30pm she had dinner alone and read her e-book at Chapi's Virgin restaurant and went back to El Estancia to sleep around 11pm.

The next day, around 5am, she left the hotel without breakfast. Since then, no news, she has vanished. Did she really go on a trek? No one has seen her, neither on the paths nor in the different accommodation places of the canyon. All the paths she might have taken have been searched but so far there is no trace of Natacha. Did she have an accident, did she fall under a rockfall, did she fall in the river, did she get lost? Or did she have a bad encounter, was she kidnapped, was she the victim of a predator? So far, the police have not found any conclusive evidence.

Natacha certainly spoke with people to prepare her trek, to ask for directions, to buy provisions, to drop off her bag, she must have met hikers, inhabitants...

We are appealing to anyone who has seen Natacha or has useful information that would allow us to find her.

Natacha is 28 years old, 1m65 tall, with blue eyes and long curly brown hair. On 24 January she was wearing black tights and a black jacket and pink trainers. She was carrying a small black backpack. She is a sporty, organized, resourceful girl who loves life and has lots of friends.

The alert of her disappearance was given on 3 February on social networks, the search began on 4 February and on 5 February we left for Peru, with Tanguy, Natacha's younger brother. We were accompanied in Peru by the Belgian Consul and Ambassador and the Honorary Consul of Arequipa. We were impressed by the huge mobilization of volunteers, researchers, policemen, guides, investigators and authorities, who came in numbers to Cabanaconde to find Natacha. We thank them from the bottom of our hearts.

We are encouraged by the enormous wave of solidarity raised following Natacha's disappearance. Together with Natacha's friends, we have created a support group of which this website, the Facebook page Looking for Natacha, and the Instagram account Looking for Natacha are the supports. They are intended to inform you and to ensure that this mobilisation and the search continues.

We still hope to find our daughter and we count on you to help us.

Thank you to all those in Peru, Belgium and everywhere who are supporting us and thinking of Natacha.

Eric and Sabine de Crombrugghe and Natacha's brothers: Michaël, Arnaud and Tanguy