crime ekurhuleni cop

Missing Ironman contestant found dead at PE harbour

The anxious wait for David Bellet-Brissaud’s wife ended with the worst news possible.

crime ekurhuleni cop

Police in Port Elizabeth have recovered the body of Gabonese triathlete, David Bellet-Brissaud, who had gone missing before the Standard Bank Ironman African Championship which took part in the city last weekend.

The 48-year old was set to take part in the event, but failed to start as he disappeared from his hotel last Friday.

According to police spokesperson, Colonel Pricila Naidu, his body was recovered on Thursday afternoon with the help of search dogs from the PE Search and Rescue Unit. Police were alerted, and divers managed to find the body within minutes.

There was no suspected foul play, despite the fact that Bellet-Brissaud’s body was found underneath the surface tied to a tyre.

This comes after police had conducted a search in and around the harbour, after the triathlete was positively identified on Monday via CCTV footage from Transnet, where he can be seen entering the vicinity.

“CCTV footage shows that Bellet-Brissaud left the room, walked out the hotel and down the street.

“It is not clear in which direction he walked once on the main road, Naidu said on Monday.

“He did not take his wallet or cellphone with him.”

Members of the athlete’s family had also made the trip from Gabon to PE, and a reward of R150 000 for information on his whereabouts was set on Thursday morning, up from an initial R12 000.

Bellet-Brissaud had checked into his hotel room with wife, Lydia last Thursday, before the couple took a walk along the beachfront, later meeting with friends for dinner.

They returned to the hotel at around 21:00 and, in the early hours of Friday morning, Lydia noticed that he was not in the room.

Naidu confirmed that an inquest docket has been opened.

Also read: Norwegian tourist goes missing in the Western Cape