Daily Dispatch

Lovelorn message in a bottle

Boyfriend who wrote ‘suicide’ note alive, well

- By BARBARA HOLLANDS

WHEN his staff members found a suicide message in a bottle washed up on Woody Cape beach, Rommel Roberts was very concerned.

He wanted to know if the lovelorn man who wrote the yearning note declaring he could not live without his estranged girlfriend, was still alive.

“The story sounded really tragic,” said Roberts, 66, a director of Hilltop Empowermen­t Centre in Woody Cape near Alexandria.

“On Saturday I told three new staff members to go for a walk on the beach as an introducti­on to Woody Cape. While they were walking along they saw a bottle washed up on the edge of the tide. It was a clear bottle so they could see something was inside it.”

Roberts said the men smashed the screw-top bottle and rushed up to the centre to show him the note, two photograph­s – one of a young couple embracing and another of the woman looking at a cellphone – and a card bearing bible verses.

“The contents were perfectly preserved and perfectly dry. My main concern was for the man who wrote the note and if his relatives knew about the note.”

The letter, written mostly in capital letters in black ink, is dated April 12 2014 and reads:

“To [name of the woman and her cellphone number].

“By the time someone finds this bottle flotting [sic] in the sea I’m sure I’ll be long gone [dead] so you can be free from my love. I can’t go on without you. I choose not to. The 10 years we spent together was by the best of my life and I just can’t seem to let go. I’ve tried so just know I done it for you. You are y I chose not to live. I love you [name] and will be watching over you. Love you [man’s name].”

Roberts said he called the police, but was told to bring the note to his nearest police station and opted to call the Daily Dispatch instead.

“I phoned the woman’s phone number and said that I hated to tell her that we had come across this bottle and a tragic note and that I wanted to find out about him.

“She said he was alive and that she wanted nothing to do with it.”

When the Daily Dispatch contacted the woman yesterday, she confirmed she had been in a long relationsh­ip with the note writer, but she had broken off with him about five years ago.

She said she had recently married and was pregnant and the call from Roberts had distressed her and “messed up my day”.

The woman said she had once taken out a restrainin­g order against her ex-boyfriend, but that he was alive and living in East London.

 ?? Picture: SUPPLIED ?? SEA MAIL: This broken-hearted message in a bottle, left, along with two photograph­s and Biblical verses were found washed up at the Woody Cape beach on Saturday by staff working for Hilltop Empowermen­t Centre director Rommel Roberts (above)
Picture: SUPPLIED SEA MAIL: This broken-hearted message in a bottle, left, along with two photograph­s and Biblical verses were found washed up at the Woody Cape beach on Saturday by staff working for Hilltop Empowermen­t Centre director Rommel Roberts (above)
 ??  ??

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa