October 22, 2020

MISSING MAN MYSTERY

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This picture provided by his partner, Lisa, was taken on Friday 24 February 2012, the day before Nathan disappeared.

No leads, few clues and an ongoing search was all police could say yesterday, the fourth day of the search for missing teacher and water sports instructor Nathan Clarke, 31.

Flanked by Mr Clarke’s fiancee, Lisa Beck, and her parents, Philip and Elizabeth Beck who arrived in from London on Tuesday night, RCIPS Detective Superintendent Marlon Bodden said a 25-member search team, assisted by four marine vessels, divers, sniffer dogs, 60 volunteers and a fixed-wing aircraft continued to scour the area between Governor’s Beach, West Bay’s Kittiwake dive site, inland across the Esterley Tibbetts Highway and 400 metres offshore.

“We have mounted a land and sea search and have seen nothing suggesting any evidence whether Nathan Clarke is in the area or not.

“A significant amount of offers have been accepted to come out and help search the area,” Mr Bodden said, “and we have been in touch with neighbouring law enforcement in the region.”

At the moment, he said, nothing indicated foul play.

“This is a missing-persons investigation,” Mr Bodden said. “There has been no suggestion of any criminal activity taking place.”

Police, he said, had established a situation room at West Bay Police Station and a command post at Public Beach, near Calico Jack’s at Sea Grape Beach, where Mr Clarke was last seen on Saturday night at 8:30, wearing beige swim shorts with no shirt.

”The canine unit is assisting the search to track any leads and Mosquito Control assets are flying aircraft to search and suggest where Mr Clarke could be, the Detective Superintendent said, referring to the low-flying twin-engine airplanes operated by government’s Mosquito Control and Research Unit.

The RCIPS helicopter, he said was “unfortunately, off-island on a pre-scheduled maintenance call.”

Fiancee Lisa Beck (Age 32)

Ms Beck, 32, said she and Mr Clarke and a group of friends had been having drinks at Calico Jack’s, “enjoying the evening and the sunset” on Saturday evening at the Public Beach bar when her fiance vanished.

“It was still quite quiet at the time,” about 8:30pm, she said yesterday, “and Nathan walked toward the water. We continued socialising. A few people were scattered around the benches and in the back, enjoying drinks. It was less than five minutes after I last saw him in the lit area.

“We didn’t have a final plan, at that point,” Ms Beck continued. “I said I wanted to go home, but others wanted to have a drink, but I thought we might walk home. No one was around Nathan, not that I saw him talking to.

“I called him about 10 minutes past 9:00 because I thought he was nearby, and it went right to his answering machine,” she said.

Earlier, she told TV 27 that the pair had been together on the beach when she moved a few paces away to speak to friends.

“Literally, after just a couple minutes, I turned back around and he had gone. And then from that minute on he was nowhere to be seen. He was there and then he was gone. He just disappeared. We just don’t know what could have happened.”

The two had been together eight years, she said, “and we just loved each other’s company. He was a water-sports instructor and worked with children and youth. He was very gifted at wind surfing and sailing.

“We decided we wanted to travel, so we moved here and Nathan worked at Resort Sports on the beach. He enjoyed it, but missed educating kids, so over the summer we made a decision and he moved toward something more of a career.”

He found a job at “Little Prep”, the junior division of Cayman Prep and High School, and attended UCCI part time.

“We had a few drinks that evening. He was having a great time and had just been on holiday and some friends were over on holiday and we were all just enjoying ourselves.”

Father Philip Beck said he had had “known Nathan a long time and he was liked by many people. He was a very easy-going character and  the number of people [involved in the search] is a reflection of that.

“We will be staying to support Lisa, as long as possible.”

Mr Clarke’s parents, Cheltenham’s Lizzie and Randell Clarke, live in France, and are scheduled to arrive in George Town at the weekend.

“My husband and I are very distressed,” Mrs Clarke told the local Gloucestershire Echo. “We spoke with the governor of the island and to the police with whom we have every confidence. Our heartfelt thanks go to the islanders who are endlessly searching for our son leaving no stone unturned.

“Nathan is a much loved son – not just by his family but by the parents and pupils of the school where he teaches, the islanders and all who meet him. We can only hope and pray that he is found safe and sound,” she said.

Friends have launched a Facebook campaign in an attempt to raise funds to charter a helicopter to step up the search operation. More than 1,000 people have signed up, raising more than $6,616.

Abby Beck, Lisa’s sister, told the newspaper: “It is a very tough time for the family. Everyone is trying to stay positive but it becomes harder the longer the search goes on without finding him.”

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