The mother of an American who disappeared while traveling through Mexico on motorcycle says she still feels “optimistic” and believes her son is “well.”
Harry Devert, of Pelham, N.Y., was last heard from on Jan. 25 when he texted his girlfriend to let her know he was heading to the city of Zihuatanejo after spending time with a friend in Zitacuaro.
"Just got an hour and a half long escort out of some area it was too dangerous for me to be," the 32-year-old travel blogger told his girlfriend, Sarah Schiear, through WhatsApp.
"Gonna get back on the road soon. Apparently there's another military escort waiting for me in some other town... I'm running way late because of the crazy military stuff..." the message read.
Two days later, Schiear called the friend in Zitacuaro to say she was worried because Devert hadn’t yet been in touch. The friend then went to the city of Uruapan to check a report of a man who had been in an accident and was in a coma.
He went to police when he realized the man at a Uruapan hospital wasn’t Devert, Guzman said.
Before he left, Devert’s mother said he told her he “expected to be out of cellphone range for a few days and would call me as soon as he could.”
Devert, who said her son calls the world his home, told her “not to worry, so I didn’t.”
“I believe my son is still alive. I think the second escort is our key and it is possible that this was not a military escort and someone who was disguised as a military escort,” Devert said.
The U.S. State Department said in a statement that the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City “is aware of reports that Mr. Devert has disappeared in Mexico and is concerned for his safety.”
“We are actively working with the Mexican authorities to locate Mr. Devert,” it added.
To travel from Zitacuaro to Zihuatanejo, Devert would have had to cross an embattled area in Michoacan and Guerrero states, where in the past year “self-defense” groups have formed against drug traffickers.
Devert, who wrote earlier about the planned trip on his blog “A New Yorker Travels,” said he hoped to go to Brazil for the World Cup.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.