South African family searches for missing son last seen in Phuket

PHUKET: The family of a South African man who went missing after arriving in Phuket in June is asking for any information about his whereabouts or safety.

Ezra Jansen, 31, last contacted his mother on June 11, the day after he arrived in Phuket.

“I tried to call him on his phone on June 11, but I could not get through. I then decided to email him, and he emailed me back on June 11 saying that he had made arrangements to be back on June 16,” Ezra’s mother, Zurayda Jansen, told the Phuket Gazette today.

However, Ezra, a born-again Christian, had told his brother on the way to the airport in Pretoria, South Africa that he was thinking of becoming a missionary.

“Ezra was at a point in his life where he had to decide what he was going to do next,” Mrs Jansen said.

Ezra, who had studied Electrical Mechanical Engineering at the University of Cape Town, left his job of about six years in July last year. Afterward, he visited family frequently while staying with his brother in Pretoria and eventually got his own flat in the area, Mrs Jansen explained.

On June 7, he decided to clear out his flat, and took his furniture and car to his brother’s place.

“I am worried because he could have been disappointed that nothing wanted to work out for him, then making the decision to go to Thailand. I am only speculating about his decision,” Mrs Jansen said.

“I have no idea why he is not contacting us. Ezra is a born-again Christian, so he might have joined a church there in Phuket and gotten involved with their programs.”

Mrs Jansen confirmed to the Gazette that the South African Embassy had been notified of Ezra’s disappearance. The Embassy later confirmed with Immigration that Mr Jansen was still in Thailand, Mrs Jansen said.

“We, as a family, are very concerned [by] not hearing from Ezra since June. As a mother, I feel sad and pray for Ezra every day,” Mrs Jansen said.

Anyone with information about Ezra can contact his mother directly on +27 72 077-8527 or by email at; or the South African Embassy in Bangkok at 02 659-2900.

— Isaac Stone Simonelli

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