x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Winter family seeks closure

The family of Kerry Winter, the missing South African woman, describe the toll her disappearance is taking on them.

DUBAI // The family of Kerry Winter, the missing South African woman, have described the toll her disappearance is taking on them and say they would like to have it resolved - even if that means facing the fact she may have been killed. The remarks came as the South African ambassador was due to meet senior Dubai detectives to discuss the case today. Ms Winter has not been seen since neighbours witnessed her being attacked with a bat and thrown back into of her 4x4 vehicle outside her home in Al Barsha on Aug 20. Her former boyfriend, a 42-year-old Briton, is being held in connection with the assault but denies any further involvement in her disappearance.

Ms Winter's brother Kurt, who is in Dubai searching for the 35-year-old events co-ordinator, said: "We've got a list of things we want the ambassador to ask the police when they meet, but the main point is to open up lines of communication with the police and get daily updates." "Our family just wants closure, even if it's negative," said Mr Winter. "We hope she will turn up safe and sound and we have a lot of support. But it gets harder and harder."

The strain, both financially and emotionally, on the family is taking its toll, he added. "I am probably going to go back home this week, I have a business which is suffering and there are other people's lives at stake because of it. My brother Clint will probably come out and take my place here." Mr Winter disclosed that the family suffered a similar tragedy a decade ago. "We have a cousin in South Africa who has been missing for 10 years. Every day her parents expect her to walk through the door, it's agonising. My mum can't take it. She has heart problems. We just want closure to this."

Police say that on the night she was last seen, Ms Winter met a friend at Jumeirah, and from there was followed home by her ex-boyfriend. Kurt Winter questioned the suspect just over a week ago and described him as "nonchalant" throughout their meeting. garis@thenational.ae