A manhunt for a missing couple who disappeared in Port St Johns on Saturday ended yesterday when their bodies were found at the bottom of a cliff below the small town’s airstrip.
They were found in the wreckage of the white BMW X5 they were travelling in, which was spotted by a health department helicopter about 150m at the bottom of the cliff.
The health chopper had been sent to help in the search for missing OR Tambo district municipality employee Lusindiso “Ali” Poyo, 56, and his girlfriend, Ingquza Hill municipality employee Nolwazi Mkhize, 39.
The airstrip is located on the top of the bushy Mpembeni Mountain above the small Wild Coast town.
The discovery which sent shockwaves across the coastal town was confirmed late yesterday by Port St Johns police spokeswoman Captain Nozuko Handile.
Handile said the cause of their death was still unknown as police were unable to retrieve the vehicle and bodies from the bush.
“Yes we can confirm their bodies and vehicle were found by the search team. However, we were unable to retrieve their bodies and the car because of the density of the area.”
She said a helicopter from the South African National Defence Force would assist this morning in retrieving the bodies and vehicle.
Handile said a helicopter, the Mthatha K9 unit and the task team investigating the couple’s disappearance had been sent to the area to assist in the search.
The couple had been on a weekend getaway at the nearby River Lodge, where they had booked an apartment for the weekend. They left the establishment a day before they were scheduled to check out, leaving behind all their luggage and other belongings, raising suspicions something tragic could have happened to them.
The lodge raised the alarm when the two did not return on Saturday.
The Dispatch reported yesterday that the couple had three cellphones between them when they went missing and it was later discovered that the last communication from those phones was at nearby Majola, Qubushwayo and Bizana villages.
It was also reported a friend of the deceased woman’s family had claimed one of the missing cellphones was switched on momentarily in Atteridgeville in Pretoria on Tuesday evening.
However Handile said the Pretoria claims could not be confirmed.
She said last night that both grieving families had been informed of the tragic discovery. — email@example.com