Body of missing Italian tourist found in Peruvian Andes

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A high mountain patrol found the body of a missing Italian tourist who disappeared 80 days ago while hiking in the Peruvian Andes, police said on Monday.

Alberto Fedele, who was 30, had left the village of Urubamba in the southeastern Cusco region on July 4, heading for the Juchuycocha lake near the 5,500-meter high Chicon mountain.

Police say he died in a landslide.

"We have located and recovered the body of the Italian citizen who disappeared several weeks ago," a spokesman for Cusco's high mountain police force told AFP by telephone.

The patrol climbed up the slopes of the Chicon on Saturday towards an area where locals had seen a body.

They found a photograph of Fedele's passport and his mobile phone in a pocket of his jacket, the state Andina news agency said.

The body has been transferred to a morgue in Urubamba to continue investigations, the police spokesman said.

Fedele's body was found in a "wild and rugged" area, which is why police assume he died in a landslide, Andina said.

Urubamba, a town of 15,000 people around 50 kilometers north of the city of Cusco -- the former capital of the Inca empire -- is popular with tourists heading for the Inca citadel Machu Picchu, Peru's best known tourist site.

Police began looking for Fedele in July after a friend reported him missing.

Fidele's case is similar to that of Belgian tourist Natacha de Crombrugghe, who was 28 when she disappeared in January while preparing for a tour of the Andean region of Arequipa after visiting Machu Picchu.

In the last five years, a Spanish and an American tourist also went missing in the Cusco area, local media said.