Missing Alvaro and Jose

Missing Alvaro and Jose
My uncle and his life-long friend are missing in the jungle in Peru. Time is critical.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Tonight Our Search is Over, Thank You So Much for Your Support

My beloved Tio Pepe in my dining room

My uncle Jose Tamayo, know to us as “Pepe”, and his friend Alvaro Rossel were found today in Alvaro’s car, the victims of a fatal car accident on a dangerous road in a beautiful country. This has been devastating news. But I am so grateful to those people who searched for them on foot and in helicopters and vehicles and at the end of ropes, and to Peru, the US Embassy, Congressman Himes, all of the reporters we've spoken to in the US and in Peru, and countless others for their efforts at helping our families. I am relieved to have the news and to not go another night worrying about my dear uncle Pepe and Alvaro.
I never really got the idea of "closure" having never been in this situation, or anything close to it. But after many days of little sleep and lots of stress and emotion and seeing your family going through their own personal mental tortures, your mind does terrible things, keeps you up at night playing various scenarios over and over, hashing out minute details of multiple possibilities, like a movie with an infinite number of alternate endings... some where you can help, some where people beg for help and no one comes, some where people suffer, terrible stuff, and some of it very calming and peaceful and sweet, but to not know... THAT is torture. For several days that is what I go to sleep with and what I wake up with. That is what haunts me any moment that I allow my mind to wander. Now at least I know... I know that they weren't lost cruelly and needlessly at the hands of some thug, or left to die slowly on purpose after being injured or thrown in a ditch, tortured for days at gun-point, left to starve in the jungle, left to die of their individual medical complications... It was in fact an accident. Like those people in the interviews said, the road is dangerous and accidents happen.  It was an accident and I feel immense relief. And immense grief...  But it's better to know. It truly is. Really, this is what they mean by closure.
I still can't imagine how I will handle my next party without Pepe but I can say goodbye to him now without worrying he might be suffering anymore. The desperation of the last several long days melted into great, sobbing sadness upon hearing the news and now what I feel… I can’t quite describe, sleepy understanding?  I will sleep tonight knowing that my uncle is not in distress and knowing that when he left us he was with a person he loved dearly, a good man, Alvaro Rossel, his closest friend in the world.  That gives me great comfort.
Through this process I have been absolutely amazed at the love and the outpouring of support, the advice, encouragement, prayers, offers of help given to us and to me personally by friends, acquaintances  and total strangers; friends of friends of old friends, friends of sisters of classmates, facebook friends of old friends, former co-workers of friends, and so on. There has been such an incredible outpouring of support for our families and I am so grateful. I wish I could thank each of you and hug each of you personally. It was so comforting to me to have people reaching out and doing all they could for a stranger. I know that this is the basis of human nature, this is what we do, ultimately people help people in need because we are all in it together. Thank you, friends and strangers alike.  I am humbled, absolutely humbled by the outpouring of love… in a world where everyone says we are all isolated computer-junkies, real people reached out of their computers and offered overwhelming support and I want everyone to know how much hope it gave us and how much it is appreciated. These men were worth all of it, really, they were. Alvaro Rossel and Jose Tamayo, they were good men, and loved, very much loved and if you’d met them you would never forget them, that's the kind of people they were… and they were worth ALL of the effort it took to find them, every bit of it, every single moment spent.
Alvaro Rossel and Jose Tamayo

Goodbye Pepe and Alvaro, we were so lucky to have you. 


  1. I'm so sorry Grace, may you sleep well tonight.

  2. I'm so glad they found them, but so sorry they're gone.