At around 9PM last Thursday, David Bellet-Brissaud and his wife retired to their room at Port Elizabeth’s Paxton hotel.
They had just been to dinner with friends at the Boardwalk complex.
But at around 1AM on Friday morning, Bellet-Brissaud’s wife, Lydie, woke up and noticed that her husband was not in the room.
In fact, he never returned, and the French sportsman’s disappearance, who was in town to participate in the Ironman Africa Championship, had police searching everywhere, reports Times LIVE.
However, it wasn’t until CCTV footage from Transnet showed Bellet-Brissaud walking into the harbour via the Baakens Road entrance at about 1:10AM on Friday that police finally got a break, reports Herald Live.
Earlier CCTV footage though to show David on the other side of the harbour was a case of mistaken identity.
Then came Misty.
A police dog from the canine unit, Misty immediately picked up his scent, leading police to Bellet-Brissaud’s body located in the water. It was weighted down by a tyre attached to a thin green rope tied around his ankles:
The news has devastated his family. His brother‚ Gael‚ left the harbour in tears‚ accompanied by a police official‚ after formally identifying the body on Thursday afternoon.
An emotional and upset Gael asked last night for privacy for his family.
“Please‚ I want to beg for some time for our family now. It is a devastating time for us. We had a shock.”
Just before 6PM yesterday, the two investigating officers – Eric Mathews and Ridwaan Baatjies, who had been searching for Bellet-Brissaud – helped load the stretcher with his body into the mortuary van:
WATCH | The body of missing Ironman contestant David Bellet-Brissaud was found at the Port Elizabeth Habour Thursday afternoon. Read more here: https://t.co/A42xKQEClB
— HeraldLIVE (@HeraldPE) April 19, 2018
A postmortem will be held to determine the exact cause of death.
Bellet-Brissaud and his wife lived in Libreville, Gabon, where he was responsible for logistics at the SEEF logging company. He has two children, Anthony, 18, and Stacey, 20, who both live in Paris:
“David didn’t drink or smoke. Sport was everything to him. He was a very disciplined man,” she said.
Condolences to the family.
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