BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (JTA) – Two Israeli women who were traveling in Argentina have been missing for more than a week.
Dr. Lily Pereg, 54, an associate professor of microbiology at the University of New England in Australia, and her sister, Pyrhia Sarusi, 63, were last seen on Jan. 12 in the Argentine city of Mendoza visiting Sarusi’s son, Gil Pereg, 36, in Mendoza province, in the north west of the country.
The women last communicated with family members in Israel and Australia at 2.30 am on Friday, Jan. 11, but have not been heard from since.
The next day they visited Sarusi’s son, who is the local chairman of five companies established by his mother, and who is under investigation on suspicion of involvement in the disappearance.
Police found four guns in his home, money in euro, dollars and pesos totaling $80,000, and dozens of cats and dogs.
Gil Pereg told investigators he saw the pair get on board a public bus in the hours prior to their suspected disappearance to return to the downtown area of Mendoza, where they were staying in a rented apartment.
Israel Police investigators were scheduled to arrive in Mendoza to help in the investigation.
A GoFundMe campaign was established to raise funds help pay a private investigator to locate the women. “The family has hired a retired police officer who knows the two personally, and speaks Spanish, English, and Hebrew. He is currently in Argentina helping with the investigation as he knows them and can identify them,” a message on the crowdfunding page from the family.