Chartered accountant Alan Cousins last seen in car on CCTV on Thursday
THE search for missing Port Elizabeth businessman Alan Cousins has been escalated to a countrywide investigation after efforts to locate him in the last five days failed.
Cousins, 65, a chartered accountant who runs his own business, was last seen on CCTV camera driving out of the Engen service station in Ring Road, Greenacres, in his white C-Class Mercedes Benz at about 6am on Thursday. Friends and family have been searching for him and circulating his picture on social media platforms since Friday afternoon.
“This is just so bizarre. We are all devastated and worried,” Cousins’ niece, Paula Casali, said yesterday.
“It is impossible for someone to just vanish into thin air.
“Friends and family have been riding around the city looking for him at all his regular visiting places. We have phoned hospitals and police stations from Port Elizabeth to the Garden Route twice a day to see if he is not there.
“This is totally unusual for him and out of character to stop all contact and disappear.”
Cousins, who started Alan Cousins and Associates about 12 years ago, lives by himself in Richmond Hill. He was reported missing on Friday afternoon.
The alarm was raised and reported to police after he failed to arrive for work on Thursday and again on Friday.
“On Thursday, staff started phoning around but the search intensified on Friday when no one could reach him,” Casali said.
“We know that he went from the petrol station straight to the office and used his alarm code to disarm the alarm shortly before 6.30am.
“This is usual for him so there is nothing out of the ordinary.
“In the office, nothing was out of place or stolen so we thought he might have just taken the day off or gone to visit someone.
“On Friday, we contacted the police, who put an alert out for him because he was simply missing and had no contact with anyone.
“We have been to his house and nothing appears to be out of place or missing.”
Casali said that Cousins’ three sons, who do not live in Port Elizabeth, wanted to come to the city to assist with the search.
“We have told them not to come to Port Elizabeth yet as there is actually not much more we can do other than what we are already doing,” she said.
“Everyone is very concerned and praying for his safe return.”
Yesterday morning, police logged him on the national missing persons data base, which will now lead to a countrywide search for him and his vehicle.
Police sources revealed that no banking transactions on his account had been done since Wednesday, ruling out a likely motive of robbery.
His cellphone had also been off since then, making efforts to track his location impossible.
Business associates declined to discuss his disappearance.
Police spokeswoman Colonel Priscilla Naidu said police were investigating all possibilities.