‘We’re desperate for him to come home’: Family plea for grandad lost in Jamaica for 4 days without food and water

A grandad and cancer survivor has been lost in the Jamaican countryside for four days without food or water, as his family make a “desperate” plea for him to come home.

Robert Dyer, aged 60, who grew up in Lewisham and now lives in Thamesmead, went for a nature walk in the Ballards Valley region of Jamaica on Sunday but has not been seen since. 

His family said he made a “delirious” call to his wife Anne Dyer on Monday telling her he was lost. The family believe he is severely dehydrated and his phone has since lost battery.

From left, Robert’s son Lewis Dyer is pictured with Robert and his wife Anne, sister Rebecca, brother Isaac, his kids Lennox and Amelie and nephew Elias (Picture: Family handout)

The area he is lost in has been likened to the “Australian bush” and described as “unusual terrain”. Mr Dyer had been visiting the area to see his brother Henry, 56, and his niece.

Mr Dyer, a retired personal trainer, overcame prostate cancer this year and has now been without vital medication for diabetes and a heart condition for days.

Robert’s son Lewis Dyer, 41, a software engineer who lives in Malaga, Spain, said his Dad is “a wonderful guy and we want him back”.

As of today, the latest development in the search for Mr Dyer was the police discovery of his walking stick and footsteps believed to belong to him.

Lewis’s wife Clara Beasley said: “The search is still on and they have found Robert’s hiking stick so have narrowed the search area, but we’re desperately trying to organise drones for today.

“Thermal imaging wasn’t used last night by rescue teams which means we’re now into the fourth day since Robert went missing and we need thermal imaging overnight tonight because it works better at night.”

The family are desperate for anyone with connections to the area who may be able to help, or anyone who can assist with drone or thermal imaging technology in the area to get in touch.

The national army and police forces, as well as about 250 Ballards Valley residents have been helping in the search for Robert, his family said.

Ms Beasley said: “The family are holding out hope on day four he’s a strong guy but that’s a long time to go without food and water. It’s difficult. The family are working really hard together to find him.

“We are desperate for him to come home. Everyone’s still hoping we can find him today.”

Kerry Elliot-Thompson, a member of the Ballards Valley Community Development Committee, said: “It’s a very sad period, and at this time, we are praying and still hopeful that he is alive.

“The citizens are really cooperative, especially the young men in the area. They have been there since Sunday after the news broke. They have been in the woods, helping with the search.

“Three young men, to one of whom I am related, all went in [into the woods] late Sunday evening. While they were still in the woods, it got dark for them, so they lost their way, and they stayed there until Monday morning.”

Acting Superintendent of Police, Coleridge Minto, head of the St Elizabeth Police Division, said Robert was “unable to locate his way back to the house” where he was based.

“We would have already gone through miles of terrain, and the search is still ongoing as we continue our efforts to locate this individual,” Minto said.

Pictured top: From left, Robert’s wife Anne Dyer with Robert and his mum Rose Dyer (Picture: Family handout)

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