So, in the scene where they are worrying about him, it occurs to me -- if some villain wants to put on pressure, kidnapping the parents would be a way. (Assuming that one of the villains ahead would have that tactic, but they aren't developed yet.) After all the others wouldn't. . . .
And then it hit: oh yes the others would.
Excluding the traveling and out of reach people, there are still the alienated half brother and sister-in-law, and the alienated father -- plus the character's sister. Now, there is serious bad blood in there. However, given the characters' character -- well, I think that after some stunned grumbling, that would be as effective as kidnapping the loving parents. (not that it would reconcile the families.)
Well, gives me some possibilities. Don't even know whether there's a villain who would do that.