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Daughters remember parents who died on...

Posted at 12:39 AM, Apr 14, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-14 01:39:19-04

A tragedy in Peru hits hard in Nebraska as two daughters want to know why they lost their parents so far from home.

Larry and Christy Hammer were both in their 70’s and retired. They loved to travel but something went horribly wrong in their cabin on a riverboat in South America in the early morning hours on Sunday.

On Wednesday, the Hammers’ daughters are back in their parents’ house trying to figure out what went wrong and talking about what an impact their parents made in their lives.

“They were just the most kind, generous, empathic, inspiring adventurous friends you could ever ask for-and they happen to be our parents and our children's grandparents,” said daughter Jill Malott.

Malott and her sister Kelly Lankford both found out on Sunday.

“It's extremely difficult to keep it together,” said Lankford.  

The daughters tell KMTV the Hammers flew to Peru to start their vacation down the Amazon on Friday. On Sunday the U.S. Embassy in Peru contacted Lankford and said her parents died from smoke inhalation. The Hammers were the only two that died on the boat with dozens on board.

Right now while there are so many questions on how and why—the daughters are focusing on the good. They said their mother was full of adventure and their father had a great sense of humor.

“He was always playing little practical jokes and he's just so friendly,” said Malott.

The daughters said their parents traveled the World. The only continent the Hammers didn’t explore was Antarctica; each place making their mark.

“We're getting messages from China, London and all these places all over the world that people are just devastated because she was their mentor and changed their lives,” said Lankford.

Malott said she’s spoken to her parents everyday of her life-especially on the 11-minute trip dropping her son off at school.

“Every day I cherish those 11 minutes, and I don't know how I'm going to make that drive again-even though they are not on the phone I'm still going to talk to them-there's still here they are in us. We are who we are because of them,” said Malott.

While the official cause of death is smoke inhalation, the family tells KMTV there’s an investigation going on to get more answers on how this happened.