The family of a Norwegian student who went missing five weeks ago while on holiday in the Southern Cape remain hopeful that the 21-year-old will be found alive.
Marie Ostbo‚ who was studying in France‚ arrived in Sedgefield with a group of international student tourists on April 18. She was last seen that same evening‚ on the beach‚ near the backpacker lodge where the group was staying.
Her sister Helen Ostbo has shared countless heartbreaking posts on social media‚ pleading for Marie’s safe return.
“Our dear Marie … has now been missing for 5 weeks. Police and volunteers from various organisations are looking for Marie. We don’t give up and keep the faith that she’ll come home safely. As long as there’s hope there’s life. Thanks to all who keep life in hope‚” she wrote on Wednesday.
❗❗❗ Vår kjære Marie Sæther Østbø har nå vært savnet i 5 uker. Politiet og frivillige fra ulike organisasjoner leter…
Posted by Helene Sæther Østbø on Wednesday, May 23, 2018
South Cape police spokesperson captain Malcom Pojie said that SAPS and others had fine-combed the area where she was last seen but have not been able to ascertain her whereabouts.
“The physical search has been called off but the investigation into her disappearance is still ongoing. The entire area where she was last seen has been thoroughly searched by a big search party‚” he said.
“A week ago we brought all role players to the scene again and had a formal debriefing‚ where we gave feedback on the search so far. Once again we searched with all the resources on that day‚ we used scanners in the search (that) help with‚ among other things‚ determining if there is possibly a grave in the area. But there are no leads so far that can help us in the search‚” Pojie said.
On any given day about 50 people would partake in the search for the missing Norwegian student‚ he said. So far only a cellphone‚ a hat and shoes belonging to Marie have been found.
“I don’t want to be specific but we looked into all leads‚ even if it was fake news that people were spreading we followed up on every tip that we received. Unfortunately she still remains missing‚” said Pojie.
Speaking to Norwegian newspaper Dagbladet in April‚ Atle Ostbo said he knew that his daughter would not have ventured out into the ocean by herself.
“One theory is that she has taken a bath‚ but I think that is unlikely. She has grown up by the sea and boats … and knows the sea is dangerous. In addition‚ her cellphone‚ her shoes and her cap were found 100 meters from the water‚ and Marie would never put it back there. Besides‚ she would never let her friends wait‚” he said.
Photo Credit- Atle Ostbo/Facebook