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Search ends for missing Jamie-Lee Koen after family identifies his body in state mortuary

MISSING Durban resident Jamie-Lee Koen. | Supplied

MISSING Durban resident Jamie-Lee Koen. | Supplied

Published Jan 10, 2022

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DURBAN - The body found at the bottom of Winston Park viewpoint cliff on Saturday has been identified as Jamie-Lee Koen.

On Monday, volunteer group Winston Park Guardians spokesperson Deborah Snyman confirmed that the family had identified the body at a state mortuary.

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Koen was reported missing two Sundays ago after socialising with friends at the scenic Winston Park viewpoint cliff area, between Gillitts and Hillcrest in the Upper Highway Area. Volunteers and police search and rescue teams had conducted an intense search for Koen.

In a voice note sent by Jamie-Lee Koen’s father, Robert Koen, on Saturday, he thanked everyone who had been involved. He said it had been inspiring to see the highway community pull together including Guardians, Hans and Lee Bryant who spearheaded the search.

“To all the people that helped including the camera guys and the people whose doors we knocked on. Hans gave up many hours of his time. Thank you to those who walked up and down those cliffs many times and the people who made the decision to do another search on Saturday morning. People put their own lives in danger by searching the cliff for someone else which is really commendable.”

“It goes to show that when there is a need as a community we can stand together. It has been a hectic week in my family and my life. If we stepped on any toes and were snappy I apologise,” Koen said.

He appreciated the phone calls and messages of support he received. Koen hoped Hillcrest SAPS will find out what exactly happened.

Start spokesperson Andreas Mathios said the body of a man was found at the base of the cliff. Mathois said the circumstances around the cause of death will form part of an investigation and can only be established once a post-mortem has been done.

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Snyman said the family have been through seven days of hell.

“The plea from the family is to give them space to grieve for their son.”

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