Belfast Telegraph

Family of Oliver McAfee travel to Israel to help search

Family members of a Co Down man, who has been missing in Israel for almost three months, have travelled out to help in the search for him.

Oliver McAfee from Dromore was last seen in the north of Israel on November 21 last year near the desert town of Mitzpah Ramon.

On Friday his brother Matthew and uncle travelled to the country to meet with police and search teams, as well as the British embassy and national media.

The 29-year-old's family alerted police of his disappearance after he failed to fly home in December.

Speaking to the Belfast Telegraph, Mr McAfee's sister-in-law Angela McAfee said the "best-case scenario" would be Oliver being found safe and well and being brought back home.

"There are many reasons for Matt's visit - to meet with the police and search teams to understand all that they have done, to see where his belongings were found, to revitalise the awareness and more."

She added: "Our message to the public that have assisted is that we are eternally grateful. We truly have been so overwhelmed by people's willingness to help - the search teams in the physical search, people sharing suggestions, well wishes, prayers, and assistance in getting Matt to Israel - we will always be indebted to these people."

Mr McAfee had travelled in Mexico and Europe with friends and had helped with building work prior to travelling to Israel.

Search teams earlier discovered pieces of paper in Mr McAfee's handwriting with text from the Bible.

A tablet computer, his wallet, and keys were discovered near a trail in a park in southern Israel.

Other possessions including his bike, other bags, and shoes were found near a camp site near to where he was last seen.

His passport is yet to be located.

Speaking to the BBC ahead of his trip, Mr McAfee's brother Matt said although his brother had not used his passport, it was possible his brother had cross borders into Jordan or the West Bank, and there was a notebook the police were particularly interested in speaking to the family in relation to.

An Israeli police spokesperson has said they know he was in Jerusalem and had spelt out.

A Facebook page 'Missing: Oliver McAfee in Israel' has been set up for the public to assist in the search.

A crowdfunding effort through the GoFundMe website managed to raise £1,533 to send Oliver's brother and his uncle to search for Oliver.

Belfast Telegraph Digital

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