Cape Town – A car that was abandoned at the University of Cape Town belongs to a Free State man who has been missing since February.
Jacobus Kriel’s silver Toyota Prado had been in a parking lot at UCT for the past three months. His uncle Izak de Villiers identified it on Wednesday morning, Netwerk24 reported.
On Tuesday, a secretary at the university had asked Volksblad for help finding the car’s owner.
It was subsequently determined that the Prado, registration number FMD 616 FS, belonged to the 29-year-old Kriel, who was an electronic engineer. He was last seen near Reitz, Free State, on February 10.
The secretary, who asked to remain anonymous, said several workers had reported the car to the university’s traffic department, which reported it to police.
She said many of his personal items, including a laptop, two-way radio, and a packet of cigarettes were left in the car.
“It’s very strange and I cannot believe that no one misses this person.”
His mother, Mercia Kriel, 56, was relieved at the news.
“For months we had nothing. At least we have something to work with now.”
She said her son had left home on February 10 to explore South Africa. His cellphone had been off since February 11. The following day, R3 000 was withdrawn from his bank account in Carnarvon in the Northern Cape.
Kriel said they became worried when they did not hear anything from him on his birthday, March 31. They reported him missing to police.
“We gave him a chance and hoped he would make contact, like in the past. It is not in his nature at all. He always informs us what is happening in his life, no matter where in the world he finds himself.”
She said, after he returned from Thailand in November last year, he was ill and was diagnosed with bipolar mental disorder. He had, however, refused to accept the diagnosis.
“He has been using medication for a few months, but has stopped. We are not worried about his survival, but about his state of mind.”
Kriel said they remained hopeful that he would be found.
“After three months, anything could have happened, but we are still hopeful. We pray, believe and trust that our son will be found.”