CHICAGO (CBS) — Family says a Chicago woman has been found safe after a desperate search when she went missing while travelling in Japan.
The family of Kandace Schipper released this statement:
“We’re relieved to share that we’ve obtained our beloved daughter, sister and cousin Kandace Schipper’s location. Thank you to everyone who helped us spread the word. We’re grateful for every email, call, and share and are now focused on bringing her home safely. After going through this process, we’re overwhelmed by the kindness of so many strangers. From Chicago to Tokyo, we were met with so much support and eagerness to help us find our loved one and have empathy for anyone seeking missing family members. It’s a complicated process trying to find information and it wouldn’t have been possible for us without the generosity of so many.”
Family members earlier told CBS 2’s Sara Machi they hadn’t heard from Kandace Schipper or her travel partner in 10 days.
“She’s always been somebody who’s a free spirit and loves to travel. So when I heard she was going to Japan, I didn’t really think anything out of it,” said Schipper’s sister, Chelse Rambo.
Rambo had last heard from Schipper when their family was wishing the youngest of four sisters a happy birthday as the 29-year-old travelled around Japan.
“We got a message back that was just saying, ‘I love you guys. Thanks so much,’ and that’s actually the last personal message that I received,” Rambo said.
Schipper travelled to Japan on May 8, with near-daily updates on text and social media; but those ended June 4, with nobody haering from Schipper or her travel partner for days.
“We haven’t been able to make contact with him. I personally don’t know him well. We have tried to contact his family, who is also concerned, but there has not been much on that front for us,” Rambo said.
The last bank transaction Schipper made had been at a burger restaurant in Shinjuku City outside Tokyo.
It all prompted Schipper’s childhood friend to make a missing person report with Chicago Police.
“It was really very surreal. I’ve never obviously had to file a police report for a missing person before, and I hope that nobody ever does, because it’s not a good feeling,” Kendra Ensing said.
Family members did not elaborate on the circumstances under which Schipper was found. She had been scheduled to come back to Chicago at the end of the month.