SAO PAULO – Brazilian police located on Wednesday an American family of four who had gone missing three days earlier after the boat they were traveling in was allegedly targeted by pirates in the Amazon River delta area, officials said.
“Apparently they’re fine and only have marks from insect bites. Even so, they will undergo a medical examination,” a spokesperson for the northern state of Para’s Public Safety Secretariat (Segup) told EFE.
At the time of Sunday’s assault, 39-year-old Adam Harris Heart; his wife, 37-year-old Emily Faith Heart; and their daughters (both under the age of seven) were traveling with other passengers by boat from a port in Belem, capital of Para state, to Macapa, capital of Amapa state.
The suspected pirates forced the boat to a spot known as “Porto dos Dias,” where they stole some of the passengers’ belongings before setting off, the secretariat said.
But when police arrived at the scene, the American family was no longer on the boat.
Police launched an investigation, while authorities contacted some of the family’s relatives in the United States and in the southern Brazilian city of Florianopolis, where the couple has a residence.
A joint team of police and firefighters, meanwhile, searched the area until eventually locating the missing family on Wednesday afternoon.
“They were hidden in the jungle. We don’t know why they hid there,” the Segup spokesman told EFE.
The family was found at a spot that is four hours by boat from the Para municipality of Breves, where they will undergo medical tests and questioning by authorities.