The Hawks in Pietermaritzburg are now investigating a case of kidnapping following the disappearance of a British couple on a farm in the Mooirivier area in KwaZulu-Natal.
Lt. Col. Simphiwe Mhlongo, spokesperson for the Hawks in the province, confirmed that the case has now been converted to a kidnapping investigation.
This follows after a ransom was demanded for the release of Gillian Kathleen Dinnis (78) and her husband, Anthony John (74). According to information, the couple’s family received a call in which a ransom was demanded for their release.
“No one has yet been arrested in connection with the case and the investigation continues,” says Mhlongo.
The couple was last seen on the farm in Middelrus, near Mooirivier, on Sunday 27 August.
RNews reported earlier that the farm owner, who lives next to the couple on the farm, could not get hold of them that day. The owner went looking for the couple again on Tuesday, but they were still on the loose.
The owner approached a local security company and they called the police. The police then, with the permission of the home owner, broke open the couple’s house.
The couple was not in the house and the police did not notice anything out of the ordinary. There were no signs of a struggle or forced entry into the house. The couple’s vehicle was still in the garage and their dogs were locked in the house. Gillian’s walking frame, with which she walks, was also in the house.
Friends and family have since launched a Back-a-Buddy fundraising initiative for the Dinnis couple. The money collected will be offered as a reward for any information that may lead to the discovery of the couple.
The intended amount is R50 000.
“The family is very worried about the couple’s actions. While the authorities are doing everything they can to track down the couple, we know that a reward may also help to gather information,” reads a statement on the fundraising initiative’s page.