Ricochet News

Search for Sgt Michael Van der Watt continues for fourth day on Thursday

May 4, 2017
Search for Sgt Michael Van der Watt continues for fourth day on Thursday

The search for missing Port Elizabeth police Sergeant, Michael van der Watt, will resume on Thursday morning - the fourth day, after police and volunteers called it off on Wednesday afternoon due to bad weather.

On Wednesday, police confirmed that a bicycle that was found by volunteers in thick bushes in the gorge below the Van Stadens Bridge on the N2 Highway, outside Port Elizabeth, did indeed belong to the missing cop.

Police and local residents, who have volunteered for the search, are expected to start from the area the bike was found.

Mystery disappearance

The mysterious disappearance of Sgt Michael Van der Watt (35), a policeman at the Motherwell Cluster Tactical Response Team and a cyclist, first came to light when his wife reported that she had not heard from husband since Sunday night.

"At this stage, information is unclear and all available information is currently being followed up. According to information on hand, Sgt der Watt was last seen by a colleague, who dropped him off at home on Sunday morning 30/04 after night shift," Port Elizabeth police said then.

"[However] neighbours claim to have seen someone leaving the house on Monday morning in cycling attire and his bicycle is missing.

"His cell phone and other personal items were left at home."

The police K9 Unit and the Air Wing conducted searches along the cycling route of Draaifontein, Seaview, Schoonmakerskop and Greenbushes as well as around his home.

On Tuesday afternoon, the search area was expanded to the Van Stadens and Maitlands areas.

Members of the public have also volunteered to help in the search.

Day two of the search was called off on Tuesday evening due to bad light.

Anyone with any information about the whereabouts of Van der Watt or can assist in tracing him is asked to contact SAPS Kabega Park on 041 397 6801/02.