It has been a little over two weeks since Silvia Wittal was last seen or heard from and with no fresh leads in the search for the missing woman, police have turned to the public for assistance.
Silvia Wittal missing: When was she last seen alive?
How a 45-year-old mother of two seemingly fell off the face of the earth without a trace left behind continues to baffle local authorities in the Eastern Cape.
Wittal was last seen or heard from on Thursday 30 December 2021. Her ex-husband Kevin Crouse filed a missing person case with the Humewood police on Sunday 2 January 2022 after he had not heard from Wittal in three days.
Apparently, Crouse and Wittal had arranged to have the kids dropped off at her residence in Richmond Hill, on New Years Day.
The ex-husband informed authorities that Wittal had indicated she would spend New Year’s Eve with a friend in St Francis Bay, more than 110km south of Eastern Cape’s coast line.
However, she never arrived.
A day after the missing person case was filed, Wittal’s silver Kia Picanto was found abandoned at a popular hiking trail in Schoenmakerskop.
Since she’d told her family she was on her way to St Francis Bay, Wittal would’ve taken the N2 highway, the easiest and straightforward route. However, for reasons not yet known, the 45-year-old’s vehicle, somehow, ended up on a hiking trail with no trace of her existence left behind.
What’s the latest in the search?
Since taking on the case, Gqeberha authorities have ramped up efforts in tracking down the missing woman. At first, the search was concentrated on Schoenmakerskop, where different police departments, including the K9 unit, covered the vast area, looking for clues that may shed more light into the 45-year-old’s whereabouts.
Search and rescue dog Misty of the police’s K9 unit and her handler Ettienne Gerber have begun searching the rocks at the Sacramento Trail where the Kia Picanto belonging to missing Gqeberha mom, Silvia Wittal was found. Wittal, 45, was reported missing on Sunday.— HeraldLIVE (@HeraldNMB) January 3, 2022
📹: @DevKoen pic.twitter.com/GziVlclxAg
Unfortunately, the abandoned vehicle was the only solid lead found in the area and, even that, brought police nowhere close to finding Wittal.
Two weeks have past without a word from the mother of two. According to the latest update from the South African Community Crime Watch (SACCW), a forensic investigation into her electronic devices that were found at her home turned up no solid leads.
While other forensic investigations are ongoing, police hope to get more information on Wittal’s disappearance from a woman named Gabrielle Schmitt who apparently knew the 45-year-old.
Silvia Wittal identikit: What you need to know
Gqeberha police have turned to the public for help in finding Wittal. Here are details of the 45-year-old’s identity.