Grandpa disappears mysteriously

2012-01-13 11:28

Bloemfontein - The mystery surrounding the disappearance of an elderly man from Witbank has deepened dramatically after his son-in-law’s body was found in the Vaal River in Barkly West.

Everything points to Douglas Simpson, 47 - whose body was retrieved from the river on Thursday - being behind the disappearance of his father-in-law, Peet Theron, 72.

Theron was last seen shortly before Christmas.

His son-in-law apparently stole a safe containing 9mm pistol and other items from Theron’s house.

Simpson went missing on his daughter Denitte's 14th birthday, shortly after Theron's disappearance.


But earlier this week he contacted his wife Debbie Simpson, and daughter, to say he was going to commit suicide.

“The worst part is that I still have no idea where my father is,” said Debbie.

She said her husband was a coward. “He knew the police would lock him up if they found him.”

A private investigator, Leon Rossouw, was hired to find Theron and first searched for his son-in-law.

Rossouw found Simpson’s car in a deserted caravan park in Barkly West on Wednesday.

The car had counterfeit number plates and the keys were still inside. Boots, tools and a 9mm cartridge were found in the car. The safe and gun are still missing.

Rossouw and members of the police's dog unit in Kimberley worked through the night and found Simpson’s body near a bridge in the river on Thursday afternoon.

“It was about 400m from the car.”

He appeared to have no external injuries.

Simpson’s wife said she and her husband were getting divorced. She and her daughter had moved out of their home in Witbank on December 15 as she could no longer live with her husband due to his drug and alcohol problems.

On December 21, Simpson called his father-in-law at the Edenpark retirement home and asked him to meet him at the Wimpy in Witbank.

CCTV footage

According to security camera footage, Theron walked into the restaurant, looked around and walked out again. He was not seen again.

When Simpson’s wife confronted him about her father’s disappearance on her daughter's birthday on December 23, he also disappeared.

Simpson called his wife on Monday night. He said goodbye and said he was going to commit suicide.

"He admitted stealing the firearm but said he had nothing to do with my father’s disappearance.”

The next morning he sent a cellphone message to his daughter saying he was sorry but he couldn’t live without her mother.

Rossouw said the investigation into Theron’s disappearance was continuing. Anyone with information could call 083 4100900.

  • Kala - 2012-01-13 11:49

    Well done Douglas Simpson! You're a shining example of how to take your own life without having to murder you family in the process.

      Squeegee - 2012-01-13 12:05

      Kala you mindless idiot. He probably killed his father-in-law.

      Kala - 2012-01-13 12:10

      Maybe Squeegee but at least he's not like most of those that we read about that shoot their wife and children before killing themselves.

      Kala - 2012-01-13 12:52

      @Margie - I think you have mixed up the stories. Kotze had nothing to do with this story

      larisha.toffar - 2012-01-13 16:47

      I don't know about that, what must his daughter feel towards her mother now (it's not the mothers fault that he took drugs) she was doing her daughter a pleasure by leaving because some drug addicts just don't want to be helped. I personally feel people who commit suicide are not only cowards but very selfish. He could have rather gone to rehab or just been a man about it. by the way where is the father in law?? what did he do to him that was so bad that he had to kill himself?

      Natalie - 2012-01-13 16:50

      My word Kala how do you congratulate such? I have no words!

  • Gerda - 2012-01-13 12:07

    How terrible for his wife and daughter for the repercussions that is to follow. I hope the community will help searching for her father and pray they find him.

  • Gcwabe-KaMavovo - 2012-01-13 12:13

    Notice how in that picture the black cops are on terra firma, while the whities are the ones doing the diving. Lmao!

      Kala - 2012-01-13 12:19

      That's why its called the Vaal (pale) River:)

      Nitro - 2012-01-13 12:21

      its because they can't swim and scared of water!!!

      csleigh - 2012-01-13 12:27

      Diving is a highly skilled job.

      Diane - 2012-01-13 12:32

      Those are actually medics

      stefan.vanderspuy - 2012-01-13 12:48

      They qualified to become divers.

      william.sleigh - 2012-01-13 12:55

      At least somebody is trying to work.

      Gcwabe-KaMavovo - 2012-01-13 14:23

      I was obviously laughing at the fact that this picture does us no favours and enforces the stereotype that we can't swim. So yes, we really can't.

  • Nitro - 2012-01-13 12:28

    Maybe grandpa is sitting at a casino with some hot 20 year old chick

      Suzaan - 2012-01-13 15:28

      You never know...

  • Robyn Louise Verster - 2012-01-13 12:44

    A picture of the person missing would be helpfull

      Kala - 2012-01-13 13:10

      It's on the headlines page right next to this story

  • itumeleng.teane - 2012-01-13 12:48

    Is the work of drugs, at list he has take his life not his family life.

  • Mashudu - 2012-01-13 13:09

    I've got the feeling that this guy killed his father-in-law. Sad

      Kala - 2012-01-13 13:41

      Or maybe the Father-in-law killed him and is now on the run. We are all assuming he committed suicide. I don't think there has been any proof of suicide

  • makatika - 2012-01-13 15:20

    What is going on with this people. It's Kotze now Douglas and a whole others, they need to realize that there is life after divorce, there are plenty of women out there

      Vegi - 2012-01-13 20:08

      Very beautiful women.

  • joanne.botes1 - 2012-01-13 19:48

    i am Douglas Simpson sister and cant believe such accusation has been made.he is longer with us so leave him be,let him rest in peace,only he and God knows what brother was good enough to take care of her for 17yrs now so goes and bad mouths him,how dare you Debbie

      Michelle - 2012-01-14 11:25

      she never bad mouthed him get your facts straight and read the story again there where know accusations, she was just telling the truth and just as you lost a brother she lost a husband and we girls lost our father.

      Jackky - 2012-01-14 12:03

      @ joanne.botes1.....your brother died for his love for debbie..that he cant stand seeing another man lay his hand on a woman he loved, cared,protected and provided for over 17yrs.and debbie being such an ingrate by calling the man who chose to die instead of loosing her love a coward..lets leave vengeance to god and good luck to the next man that debbie will send to his untimly grave.

  • joanne.botes1 - 2012-01-13 20:09

    At least Douglas Simpsons family and friends know the truth what he went through and what he did for Debbie so why now must she make him out to be so bad.Rest in peace my brother we love you.xxxxxxxx

  • Kevin - 2012-01-14 06:24


  • Kevin - 2012-01-14 06:25

    well written staal!!

  • joanne.botes1 - 2012-01-14 06:36

    there are always three sides to a story,his wife has toldser side ,he douglas Simpson is no lnger here to tell his side and the truth,so why must people always think the worst when someone takes their life.nobody knows what he was going through,he loved her sooo much he could not live without her so he sent a message to his daughter telling her he cant live without her mother,does that not say how much he loved that can she Debra say he was a coward it takes alot for someone to take their life,did she tell them that she will spit on his that is how much she loved him.what a shining example she is for there daughter.get all the facts,and i think the photo of them retreving the body for all to see is appauling.......Rest in Peace Douglas Simpson you here a good person no matter what others think.xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

      Denise - 2012-01-14 07:16

      Joanne, you are reading this story through rose-tinted glasses and I can understand that, However, the circumstantial evidence is quite damning.

      Lucy - 2012-01-14 09:01

      @ Denise, she is not merely reading the story, she is Doug's sister, and I'm of the opinion that sometimes women can be venomous. They play the victim and portray a picture of helplessness, yet they are the grand architects to many a man's demise. Plus, the term circumstantial evidence in contrast to 'direct' evidence means that it is not factual, and needs something to connect it to a fact!

      Michelle - 2012-01-14 11:33

      fyi if there are people who know the truth it is us, the children, we know what my mother went through, and we know what he did to us, its a pitty that it had to end like this but if he had nothing to hide and he had the oppertunity to tell his side than why did he run and change his number plates and why did he drive all the way to bloemfontein, and if he couldn't live without my mother why didn't he go get help to get clean, and make things right.

      Michelle - 2012-01-17 16:02

      if any body has the facts straight it would be us children, we were the all the you werent and for you to go and bad blame my mother for something that is not her fault, should really go search in your heart and ask god to forgive you because thats just low. everybody should stop for a minute and realize that they not the only people hurting but we are to ,and like i said we also lost our father, but to make things worse we just lost our grandfather to

  • Michelle - 2012-01-14 11:13

    to all of you people who have made a rude comment about douglas, this is his daughter Michelle i feel very sorry for you, none of you knew who he was, and what was happening in his life for him to go the extra mile and take his own life. he was my step dad for almost eighteen years, he had a drug problem but he was a good person, things just didn't work out for him and my mom at the end and he didn't know how to deal with it all. So please in the future just keep quiet if you have got nothing nice to say.

      joanne.botes1 - 2012-01-14 22:45

      Michelle Dougie did alot for you children and remember you where his step children,he put you through school,clothed and feed you,while your mother stayed at home looking after your other sisters.he did more for you and your mother than anybody else was prepared to...lets get all the facts before too many other stories are told,you dont know what he was going through,he loved your mother very please lets wait for the real facts to surface.who are we too judge,there is one one person who can judge us and that is Our Father In Heaven

  • Jackky - 2012-01-14 11:49

    this guy is druggie and alcoholic, yes...why cant the wife help him in this difficult moment in his life,is marriage meant only for when the going is smooth ??,i think they promised each other for better for worst...99% of the blame goes to this woman for dumping this guy when he needed her most.

  • Gail - 2012-01-14 13:42

    This is a very poor and confusing report. If there were no external injuries how did he die? There was one cartridge in the car. How many had been fired though? How did he get 400m from his car to the river? Did he shoot his father in law and throw his body in the river as well and if so then what killed him? Perhaps he took an overdose of meds first ad then shot his father in law with the one bullet and threw the gun and FIL into the river and fell in himself and drowned? This is a real mystery.

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