Still no word on missing SA man

2010-03-15 14:36

Cape Town - There has been no news on the disappearance of a South African man living in Chippenham in the UK.

Donavan van Lill, 29, disappeared nearly two weeks ago from the house he was staying at, and his friends have been increasingly concerned about his wellbeing.

The Facebook group, Please help find Donavan van Lill was set up by his friends, and now has close to 11 000 members.

Melodie Snyman told News24 that she is worried about Van Lill.

“I am truly getting very worried and upset and feel useless not being able to do more,” she said. “But the police are doing all they can and a fantastic job too.”

Very sociable

 Describing Van Lill as “very sociable”, she says they met in 2007 during the Rugby World Cup final.

“He contacted me via Facebook after he saw that I’m South African and lived in Chippenham,” she said. “I’ve been to watch him play rugby a couple of times. He is a really friendly and loving guy, fun to be around and always up for having a good time.”

Nicole Scott, who has known Van Lill since high school, said he would not enjoy the attention he is getting and the anguish his disappearance is causing.

“I have weighed every possibility imaginable, but the only one at this late stage that makes any sense to me is that he has been taken by someone. I do not feel that suicide is an option because he was in a positive state of mind, and the manner in which he disappeared was as if he went to answer the door or expected to step out for a minute,” she said.

Lack of information

“We are distraught at the lack of information available to us and are praying desperately for Donavan's safe return,” she added.

Gary Barber said he last saw Van Lill at Olympiad Gym where he worked.

“He was cleaning and vacuuming in the gym and I would always make fun of his pink vacuum cleaner and say he’d make someone a lovely wife,” said Barber.

Barber said Van Lill was due to go back to Durban for a break at the end of March. “He recommended I went too. He said I’d love the surfing but I said I didn’t have a new passport at the moment and I couldn’t get time off work,” he said.

Nothing suggested trouble or distress

Barber added that there was nothing in his character that suggested he was in any trouble or distress.

“His disappearance has come as a total shock and as the days roll by with still no word, it’s slowly becoming a nightmare,” he said.

“We all just want our friend back.”

Detective Inspector Lindsey Winter said in a statement on Monday: “Officers will continue enquiries today and we appreciate all the assistance that the public and Donavan's friends have given us. We have established that he hasn't used his bank account and we don't believe that he has any clothing or toiletries with him.”