Castle Pines father stuck in Peru for two weeks amid coronavirus pandemic

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CASTLE PINES, Colo. (KDVR) — A Castle Pines family is facing international conflicts with COVID-19 – keeping them a country apart.

For two weeks, Chris McLeroy has been fighting to get back home from Peru.

“This has been a very trying experience,” Chris McLeroy said.

Chris McLeroy went to Peru on March 13 to hike through the mountains and see Machupicchu.

A day after arriving, he received notice that a Peruvian lock down was going to take place and only had four hours to get out.

“First, I took a taxi to try to get to Cusco, which is about an hour away and that’s the nearest airport, and we were turned back by the police,” McLeroy said.

McLeroy’s mission to get to this airport grew harder and harder with the lock down, especially after the place he was staying in shut down.

“It got more aggressive, they were very clear if we would go out past curfew there would be a two year jail sentence,” McLeroy said, adding, “None of the large hotels would take us.”

“If they get kicked out they are on the street. Then once you are on the street, if you are out past curfew, you can be arrested,” McLeroy’s wife Jodi said, adding, “Our son is in third grade, he understands dad is not home, he’s stuck but doesn’t understand the severity of this.”

Both McLeroy and his wife contacted lawmakers from Colorado pleading for help. After two weeks of trying, a breakthrough happened when they reached Congressman Ken Buck’s office.

McLeroy says Buck got him in contact with someone over at the US Embassy who works on a task force focused on getting stranded Americans home.

“Once that happened things started to flow and now it looks like in the next two days we’ll be able to have transportation permits to get us to Cusco and then hopefully we will have a plane that could get us to the United States,” McLeroy said.

“Honestly, until he’s on a flight and it takes off I won’t be fully relieved,” Jodi said.

McLeroy may have to quarantine when he gets back, but Jodi says that’s a small price to pay to be under the same roof once again.

“If I had my husband at least in the United States I’d feel safer,” Jodi said.

Sen. Cory Gardner submitted a request to the Pentagon on Thursday asking for support to get Coloradan’s home.

“There are many Coloradans stranded in Peru and elsewhere because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and my team and I are working to get them back to the U.S. as quickly as possible. I’ve talked directly to Peru’s ambassador and requested the Pentagon’s assistance to help repatriate American citizens stranded abroad. If you know someone who is having trouble getting back to Colorado from a foreign country, please contact my office so we can get to work to bring them home,” Gardner said. 

If you know of a Coloradan stranded abroad, please contact Senator Gardner’s office at 202-224-5941 so he can assist.

The McLeroy’s will send FOX31 an update as soon as they get a flight confirmed.

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