Durban21012014 A copy of a picture of Ian Henry who has gone missing.Picture:Marilyn Bernard

Durban - The family of Bluff man Ian Henry, who had been missing since Monday, went to ground on Thursday after he was found, either switching off their cellphones or ignoring calls and messages, even from the police.

Early on Thursday they confirmed that he had been found alive and safe, and posted messages of thanks and requests for privacy on Facebook, but all other communication ceased.

However, Calven Robinson, Henry’s work partner and childhood friend, said Henry was heavily sedated and in hospital.

“He basically just cracked, I think. I know people are saying the search for him was a waste of resources, but what would they rather have found – his body? He is alive, and that is what matters.”

Robinson said he and Henry had been close friends since Grade 8, and even he had not expected this.

“He was having a few problems. He was stressed at work, and also medically he was fighting a brain tumour.

“There is speculation that maybe he had not been taking his medication, but we really don’t know.

“His family seem to have gone into hiding and don’t want to say anything, but I guess they are going to have to answer eventually.”

SAPS investigating officer Warrant Officer Muzi Mngadi said he was unable to contact Henry’s wife or children, and needed to confirm the details of what had happened with them.

“There was an entry in the police station’s occurrence book which said he had been found, and that he was safe at home, but I tried calling the daughter who reported him being found, but could not get hold of her,” said Mngadi.

“His vehicle was found near Suncoast Casino and (Henry) was said to be wandering by the beach, but I don’t know if this is true, because I have not been able to reach the family.”

Some reports stated that Henry was found in his car in the casino parking lot, while others said he handed himself over to the police – the latter being denied by his daughter, Chanel, on Facebook.

Private investigator Brad Nathanson, who was helping Henry’s employer, Bluff Meat Supply, and his family, to find Henry, also expressed his disappointment with the family’s silence.

He said that many people had spread the word of Henry’s disappearance and prayed for his safe return, yet now that he had been found, they did not explain what had happened.

“They say they are waiting for permission to talk, but permission from whom?”

There was a debate on Facebook on the issue, with many saying the public deserved answers, while others said the family should be left in peace.

The Mercury