Appeal by mother to find missing man Donavan Van Lill

  • Published

A woman from South Africa has travelled to Wiltshire to appeal for help in finding the body of her son who went missing from his home five months ago.

Robyn Van Lill's son Donavan, 29, was last seen in Chippenham in March. A man has been charged with murder, despite no body being found.

Mrs Van Lill said: "He's got two small children and they're battling as well. I find it hard to believe he's dead."

Police also released new CCTV of Mr Van Lill the night before he vanished.

Donavan Van Lill, a South African, lived in the Pewsham area of Chippenham and worked as a fitness instructor in the town. He was last seen on 3 March.

His mother said: "He seemed to be happy here. I don't know why this happened.

"They should understand that he's a father of two small children and they need to know if he's dead or alive, you can't just carry on and not know. It's not right.

"I feel he would want me to look for him no matter what. I sometimes hope he's gone somewhere, something has happened... you just don't know what to think sometimes."

A friend of Mrs Van Lill, Margaret Andre, also came over from Durban in South Africa. She said: "Any information - little or small - please contact the police.

"We need to put him to rest and we need to give him his dignity back."

Police said Mr Van Lill's disappearance was "very out of character". He did not have anything with him when he went missing and his computer had been left logged into his Facebook account.

Blue car

Detectives said they wanted to find the driver of a small blue saloon car filmed on CCTV entering and exiting Blackthorn Mews in Pewsham, and for anyone who may have seen Mr Van Lill's car, a white Citroen Saxo, registration P528 VEU, being driven on 3 March.

Det Supt Norman McKeaveny said: "We know the timings are particularly relevant. He did leave home at about 10 o'clock or shortly after that morning.

"We haven't been able to trace the owner or the driver of that vehicle and we would urge them if they recognise the vehicle to please come forward, it would certainly save us a lot of time."

Martin David Sugden, 42, of Clanville Bar, Stanton St Quinton, pleaded not guilty to murdering Donavan Van Lill at Bristol Crown Court in July.

He was remanded in custody and is due to appear in court again on 15 October.

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