His family hoped he would show up at home, but on Monday night the body of missing UCT student Ilan Blecher was found at the bottom of a deep gorge.
It had started as a casual hike for the 19-year-old, as he and his older brother, Mischa, set off up Newlands Forest on Sunday afternoon.
But when Mischa, who is also studying at UCT, had to head to the university to finish some work at 4.30pm, Ilan decided to continue his walk.
By the time of going to press on Monday night, rescuers had been unable to retrieve his body.
On Monday afternoon, a group of rescuers, including members of Wilderness Search and Rescue, Metro Emergency Medical Services, SANParks and the police’s K9 unit gathered at the entrance to the forest on the M3 near the forest station.
Cold winds swept through the crowd as they were briefed on the extensive search operation. Earlier, a helicopter had been dispatched to survey the area, but there had been no sightings of the first-year biology student.
With the light fading at 5.30pm, rescue teams found Ilan’s body at the bottom of the forest’s Dark Gorge above the contour path.
Wilderness Search and Rescue commander Anwaaz Bent told the Cape Argus that it would difficult for rescue teams to recover the body on Monday night because of the gorge’s depth.
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