For Patrick Braxton-Andrew, Mexico's Copper Canyon was a major draw. "The way he tried to sell it to me was that it was way bigger than the Grand Canyon but not visited by as many people," his brother, Kerry, tells the Washington Post. The fellow native of Davidson, NC, had planned to meet up with his sibling in Mexico City on Oct. 30 after Patrick's solo trip to the town of Urique on the canyon floor. Instead, his family has spent the last two weeks trying to track down the 34-year-old private school Spanish teacher. They know he made it to a hotel in Urique after landing in Chihuahua on Oct. 24. But he was last seen departing around 4pm on Oct. 28, about the same time as his last text messages to friends, per WFAE.
The family, in Mexico to aid in the search, doesn't think Patrick vanished on a hike, as several belongings were left behind, including shoes, a debit card, a computer, and a camera he used to snap a selfie from a canyon lookout. "What he left with was basically his phone, he may or may not have had a book, and either flip-flops or sandals," Kerry tells WFAE. "He certainly wasn't going for any sort of extensive walk." Chihuahua state has been home to cartel-related violence tied to drugs and illegal logging in recent years, per the El Paso Times, but Patrick's mom is optimistic. "I just feel like with all the resources we have working to find him that it's going to come to a good end," she tells WFAE. (A US tourist was killed in Mexico in July.)