‘DNA tracker’joins hunt

2010-09-09 00:00

EFFORTS to find a 53-year-old disabled man, who went missing in the bush outside Pietermaritzburg 18 days ago, took another turn yesterday when a self-proclaimed search specialist joined in the search.

The search for Jacobus Nicolas van Rooyen has been continuing since his disappearance from his Universe Ranch home at Spitzkop farm on August 20. His sister, Martina Roux (54), said that when police searches yielded no results she decided to call Danie Krugel from the Free State, who uses a “DNA tracking device” to find missing bodies.

“In a last resort to find my brother’s body I called this guy [Krugel] whom I saw on Carte Blanche. I heard he has been around the world searching for missing people,” Roux said.

Krugel placed his machine on top of a hill about 300 metres from the farm at about 10 am. At about midday he advised Warrant Officer Jack Haskins of the SA Police Force search and rescue unit where to concentrate his efforts.

Krugel declined to be interviewed by the The Witness, saying he may upset the family by talking to the media.

Roux said her brother is mentally disabled, has a bad arm and a scar on his head, is blind in his right eye and cannot walk properly.

A vehicle accident when he was four years old left him disabled.

“I last saw him talking to a neighbour near the gate at about 3.30 pm. Late in the evening we noticed that he was missing,” she said.

She said police came to start the search that night.

“Haskins has been here searching in the bush since then. I cannot do my normal duties while my brother is still missing. I have walked in the bush and also searched in town [Pietermaritzburg], Kloof, Pinetown and at the beach,” she said.

Now she fears he has been murdered and his body parts used for muthi.

Haskins said animals live in the bush, and at this time of the year pythons come out of hibernation.

“I have used my dog and also had assistance from a helicopter,” he said.

Anyone who can assist with Van Rooyen’s whereabouts should call Sergeant Govind at 082 592 1820 or 031 785 9031, or Martina Roux at 082 662 9019.

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