Linda Rowe, 63, has been missing in South Africa since last year. While South African police and the SA Community Crime Watch have been searching for the missing British mother. As yet, there reportedly has been no sign of her.
The mystery has now deepened, as Mike Venter of the South African Crime Watch group told the media he had received an email that is purportedly from Linda Rowe late last Thursday night.
Venter replied to the email, telling the missing British mother to contact the investigating officer, who later said a woman had phoned him Friday morning. The officer reportedly asked Linda to come into the police station to sign an affidavit confirming her identification, but according to Venter, there has been no sign of her as yet.
— SACCW (@saccwn) January 28, 2016
The Rowe family reportedly used to live in South Africa but moved to the U.K. Linda had told her family that she needed a break and arrived in South Africa in August last year for a holiday.
The last she was seen was in November, when she reportedly met a friend for coffee at the Liberty Mall Mugg & Bean coffee shop in Pietermaritzburg. Nothing has been seen of the missing British mother since then.
Previous to the contact received by Venter, Rowe’s daughter, Kirsty Pockson, reportedly traveled to South Africa last week, searching for her mother and said a missing persons docket had been opened at Town Hill South African Police Service detective branch in Pietermaritzburg.
Linda Rowe is pictured below with her husband Bill and two granddaughters, Georgia and Freya.
— IOL News (@IOL) February 6, 2016
According to the Independent Online, Linda Rowe‘s husband, Bill, made a desperate appeal to his missing wife, asking her to let the family know if she is safe and well. Bill Rowe has been living with Linda and their daughters, Lisa, Kirsty, and Kelly, in Peterborough in the U.K. for almost 20 years and spoke out in the media about their anguish, saying he just wants to ensure his wife is safe.
He cannot accept that she has just disappeared after 44 years of marriage without any answers or contact.
While the missing British mother has been away, their daughter Kelly has gotten married, and reportedly, the whole family missed having her there. Her two granddaughters cannot understand why she was not there with them.
Kirsty Pockson said her mother’s abrupt departure and lack of contact is “completely out of character” and has left the whole family bewildered.
She said her parents had been on vacation in Tunisia previous to her leaving, but that after she left for South Africa, her father had found a letter saying she was leaving him.
“Just before she left, we had a braai [barbeque], and the day before she left, she went for a pedicure. Everything seemed fine. After she had left to go on holiday, my dad found a letter saying she was leaving him.”
Reportedly, after her mother left for South Africa, her younger sister received just one text message from Linda, saying “everything was fine and she was okay.” However, the next day, the British mother’s cell number no longer worked.
While Kirsty was in South Africa searching for her mother, she got in touch with Linda’s best friend and other close friends in Pietermaritzburg, but reportedly, none of them have heard from the missing British mother.
The only person Linda contacted, as far as the family knows, was a friend from her former place of work, with whom she had coffee in Pietermaritzburg shortly before she disappeared.
“My mother told this friend that she was on holiday and enjoying herself, but would be coming back to the UK for my sister’s wedding.”
At first, the family reportedly thought it best to give Linda some space, but they grew concerned as the date of Kelly’s wedding drew closer and there was still no sign of or word from the missing British mother.
Once the wedding day arrived and no one had heard from Linda, her family grew seriously concerned and hired a private investigator, who could find no trace of her.
Kirsty said Linda was always a devoted and loving mother, and she couldn’t imagine her missing her sister’s wedding or turning her back on her family.
At this stage, it is hoped that the woman who made contact with Mike Venter of the Crime Watch group and who phoned the investigating officer will turn out to be Linda Rowe, healthy and safe. Meanwhile, the search continues for the missing British mother.