Despite a massive police search and much social media coverage, a Gauteng couple holidaying in the Eastern Cape spent the weekend at a remote lodge in the former Transkei blissfully unaware of the campaign to find them.
Police used social media to appeal to the public for assistance in finding Guy Mclaughlin, 40, and Lindsay Lamb, 33.
According to Captain Mali Govender yesterday morning: “They were going to travel up to Hogsback and then proceed up the Wild Coast before leaving the province and go back to Gauteng.
“Information from relatives initially suggested they left Grahamstown for Hogsback on Friday January 5. A vehicle matching the description was seen on the N2 on Friday travelling towards Butterworth by traffic officers conducting speed traps. There is a possibility that the couple may be along the Transkei coast.”
Family members had reported the couple missing after failing to make contact with them.
It was speculated by Facebook users, who turned out to be right, that the couple could not be reached due to a lack of cellphone signal.
Alan Hein, manager of Mtentu Lodge in Bizana, confirmed early yesterday that the couple had been staying there.
“They stayed here from the 5th to the 8th. They only left here about a half an hour ago.”
Hein said that as soon as he was aware of the missing persons report, he informed a relative of the couple as well as the police, who then called off the search.
“The problem is that there is no cellphone signal here. I have to use a satellite phone,” he said.
Govender confirmed this, saying: “Today, after going through the “seeker” page on Facebook, a young girl informed her father, who is the manager of a lodge, that the persons “missing” were in fact their guests at the lodge.”
A sobbing Diane Dallacasa, mother of Lamb, confirmed that the police had phoned her to say they had found the couple.
At the time of going to print yesterday, Mclaughlin and Lamb’s phones were still switched off.