October 25, 2020

NATHAN’S CELL – PHONE FOUND

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Searchers have found the cell phone belonging to missing watersports instructor and part-time teacher Nathan Clarke, submerged in 10 feet of water, nearly 50 metres off Public Beach.

The inland search for the 31-year-old UK resident, missing since 9:00pm Saturday, 25 February, has been scaled back as police focus on “the in-water search” of the area where the cellphone was found, according to RCIPS Detective Superintendent Marlon Bodden yesterday.

Just after 12:30pm on Tuesday, Mr Bodden said, “a cruise-ship passenger was swimming off the Calico Jack’s area when he saw something shining on the sea bed. He checked it out and found a cell phone.”

The swimmer had kept the phone “as a keepsake”, Mr Bodden said, until, chatting later to a local shopkeeper, the clerk advised the tourist to contact police, who took possession of the phone “about 4:00 or 5:00pm”.

“We have proved the cellphone belonged to Nathan” Mr Bodden said. “However, that area where it was found was part of our in-water search. We continue to search, though. We absolutely cannot draw any conclusions from where the phone was found.

“Strong tidal currents can submerge and hide an object. We are very fortunate this individual spotted it, very fortunate to be able to say that we found something.”

Mr Clarke disappeared Saturday evening at approximately 9:00pm after sharing drinks at Calico Jack’s on Public Beach with friends and fiancée Lisa Beck, 32, also a UK resident. The couple has been together eight years, the last four in Grand Cayman.

Miss Beck has said she last saw Mr Clarke “walking towards the water’s edge” about 8:30, wearing only beige shorts. She telephoned him at 10 minutes after 9:00, reaching his voicemail as the group prepared to leave.

The last call from Mr Clarke’s phone occurred between 8:07pm and 8:09pm on Saturday, Mr Bodden said, describing earlier reports that a signal had been detected as late as 1:00am on Monday, 27 February, as “absolutely
not correct”.

He said police had interviewed the individual receiving the final call, but declined to identify anyone. He also declined to say how many calls had been made to Mr Clarke’s phone since his disappearance or during what length of time.

He would not identify anyone who had tried ringing Mr Clarke, saying only “there have been a number of calls going to the handset, a number of calls from family and friends trying to find him, but none of them connected. They would have gone straight to voicemail.”

In the wake of the discovery of the phone, Mr Bodden said, investigators had contacted “every cruise ship that was here in the last five days, letting them know we are conducting this investigation “to ensure that no other property, which could be significant to the enquiry, has been retrieved by unsuspecting passengers and retained.”

Repeating his message of yesterday, Mr Bodden dismissed rumours that Mr Clarke had been abducted. “We have no evidence suggesting any criminal activity has occurred.”

“This is a missing person inquiry. Speculation is extremely unhelpful,” he said.

Philip Beck, father of Lisa, said Mr Clarke had been a strong swimmer, unlikely to have gotten into trouble. “He was a watersports instructor, so treating the sea with a lot of respect was part of Nathan’s background. It would have been a silly thing to do, “ he said, doubting that Mr Clarke had gone swimming after dark.

”I don’t think so, but I can’t say because I don’t know,” he said.

Mr Bodden said the search would continue, but elapsed time made it more difficult.

“We are now five days into the search, and while everyone involved remains hopeful, we have to be realistic and say that as time goes on the more concerned we are becoming about Nathan’s wellbeing,” Mr Bodden said.

“Our searches today will once again concentrate on the beach and sea area around where Nathan was last seen and we will of course immediately make his family aware of any further developments.”

 

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