It’s been almost a month since a Pretoria man went missing – and his family is losing hope they’ll ever see him again.
Drienie Janse van Vuuren (25) says her nights have become a constant nightmare since her brother, Jan-Adriaan (22), went missing. Her dreams are angst-ridden and replete with questions about his disappearance.
How is it possible, Drienie asks, that a human being can just vanish from the face of the earth?
She says she last spoke to Jan-Adriaan, a motor mechanic, on 19 October. Lodgers at the Heuweloord property in Centurion where he lived say he hasn’t been home since 18 October.
He was last seen at Eagles Nest, a pub and restaurant in Valhalla. WhatsApp shows he was last active on the messaging service on 22 October.
Jan-Adriaan’s disappearance is a complete mystery to his family and the police, Drienie says.
“All we can do is pray that my brother will come home safely,” she told YOU.
“You can’t imagine what kind of hell this is,” she explained.
“You read about it on social media but never imagine it will become your reality. You’re terrified of the phone ringing as it might be bad news.
“How can we sleep if we don’t even know if he’s alive? We don’t know if he’s safe, if he has food to eat.
“There are no leads at all. He’s just gone – and it’s driving us crazy with worry.”
Shortly before he went missing, Jan-Adriaan had moved from The Reeds to Heuweloord, both in Centurion. Drienie says she’d planned to visit him on his birthday on 20 October.
“He’d promised to send us his new address because we’d hadn’t been there yet. But he never did.
“On his birthday I sent him a message asking for it [the address] and WhatsApp showed he’d received the message, but he didn’t respond. We never heard from him again.”
Drienie said everyone in their family was experiencing a tough time because this was one of several tragedies to befall them.
Her father, Jan-Adriaan Snr, died of a heart attack in 2017. Her grandmother Magda, who’d been like a mother to her, died of cancer in October last year. And her aunt, Corrie le Roux (45), her mom Liezel Steyn’s (43) eldest sister, is in a coma in hospital after a scooter accident.
“We try to keep a brave face but we all know we’re not okay. And how can we be? Someone we love has disappeared without a trace. And we have to go on with our lives while he might be fearing for his.”
A missing person’s case has been opened at the Wierdabrug police station in Centurion. The Gauteng police spokesperson didn’t immediately respond to enquiries today.