When a solo traveler went missing in Peru, it changed her family's lives completely

Updated 12:20 AM ET, Sun June 9, 2019

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This story is based on official statements from Peruvian police, hours of interviews with family members and friends of Carla Valpeoz, and previous CNN reporting.

(CNN)Shortly after his daughter Carla went missing in Peru, Carlos Valpeoz left behind his old life as a contractor in the Texas Hill Country and boarded a plane to find her. He brought only a backpack with him, unsure how long he'd be away from home.

Valpeoz, 71, conducts himself with relentless force, but his eyes and the weight he's lost reveal his exhaustion. When he talks about his daughter -- his "Carly," his "Carlita" -- his husky, deep voice breaks into sobs.
For nearly six months he has traveled to nearly a dozen small towns in a remote region of the Peruvian Andes called the Sacred Valley. He takes flyers with his daughter's face printed on them and walks from house to house, interviewing anyone who might have seen her. Living on his savings, money from his son and some GoFundMe donations, he's been staying in small hotel rooms and trying to spend as little as possible on food and toiletries.
Carla was on her way to an Inca archaeological site near Cusco on December 12 when she vanished and her family's lives turned upside down.
Carlos Valpeoz takes a break from walking around the Pisac Archeological Park. He has been searching for his daughter in Peru since she went missing.
Her father has traveled across mountains, walked through massive cornfields and searched remote caves looking for her. He's developed relationships with the local police, and even embedded with them to search suspected drug houses.