Where in the World is Wilkes?


The story of a missing tourist in Cape Town has gone viral. Where in the world is Wilkes? Can you spot him?

#missing Wilkes McDermid – a Story to #findWilkes

On 26 December 2012 a British tourist to South Africa seems to have disappeared off the face of the earth. Where is he? [Update: 3 Jan 16:30 Alleged sighting of Wilkes at Rosa’s Bakery in the CBD, Cape Town / Update: 5 Jan Close friends suggest SAPS making progress].

Evidence shows the first few hours are critical in finding any missing person. The family and friends of Wilkes McDermid, a food blogger from the United Kingdom, are growing increasingly anxious about his well-being. As founder/custodian of the @capetown account, I have seen the story unfold in Twitter over the past day or two.

Sabrina started the tag #findWilkes and has been looking relentlessly:

For concerned friends/Followers of @wilkes888 can you please include #FindWilkes hash tag to track progress. We WILL find him.

Sabrina [email protected] days agoReplyRetweetFavorite

The latest UPDATE on Friday 5 Jan 2013 also comes via her Twitter account:

Latest news piece on the disappearance of our friend @wilkes888 Wilkes McDermid in the Evening Standard standard.co.uk/news/world/h… #FindWilkes

Sabrina [email protected] days agoReplyRetweetFavorite

UPDATE: 5 January 2013 Close friends of Wilkes requested to tone down on social media support for the search to give SAPS space – further update to follow as soon as new information emerges.

Missing Londoner> “@bernardgwhisky: Please give the SAPS a bit of a break with questions on #findwilkes – things moving quickly now. Thanks”

Sarah [email protected] day agoReplyRetweetFavorite

We hope he is well! No foul play expected it appears. How this Story developed…

I became aware that Wilkes has gone #missing via a tweet mention of @wilkes888 to @capetown by his friend Bernard yesterday (2 Jan)…

@CapeTown please RT Wilkes McDermid, @wilkes888 a tourist, my mate, is missing in Cape Town Info on link facebook.com/waterfrontwhis…

[email protected] days agoReplyRetweetFavorite

… then, followed the story to FaceBook, and shared it to our own community page:

#missing person in… | Facebook

Cape Town in 140 Characters wrote: #missing person in #ourCapeTown > have… Join Facebook to connect with Cape Town in 140 Characters and others you may know.


tourist ‘Wilkes McDermid’ @wilkes888 apparently last seen @VandAWaterfront #missing RT http://t.co/fCATZ2da #findWilkes http://t.co/itrTIUFa

Cape [email protected] days agoReplyRetweetFavorite

I have since seen many more tweets by very concerned friends of Wilkes (most in the UK) and this story is disconcerting – they fear he may have caused harm to himself, or may have been a victim to crime. Not knowing is the worst:

I would happily sell my entire shoe collection for @wilkes888 safe return to London! #findWilkes

Caroline [email protected] days agoReplyRetweetFavorite

My friend @wilkes888 went missing from Cape Town over a week ago now. Have any S.A. folk here seen him? #FindWilkes iol.co.za/news/south-africa… RT

Will [email protected]_lowe3 days agoReplyRetweetFavorite

Our regular, blogger & friend @wilkes888 went missing in #capetown on the 26th. Help find him by raising awareness – RT #FindWilkes

Callooh [email protected]_Callay3 days agoReplyRetweetFavorite

Good friend of mine is missing Wilkes McDirmid was due back in london from South Africa on boxing day. any info call met police #findwilkes

ph @beakx20113 days agoReplyRetweetFavorite

Please @SAPoliceService, help us #findwilkes, he’s been missing for a week now…

[email protected] days agoReplyRetweetFavorite

@SabrinaGhayour thanks! heard about #findWilkes from @bernardgwhisky & tweeted via @capetown cc @MayorofMOB

[email protected] days agoReplyRetweetFavorite

The mainstream media has been surprisingly slow to pick up on the news, but it was covered early-on by IOL News and also mentioned by Channel4 in the UK in their LIVE feed:

British tourist missing in Cape – Western Cape | IOL News | IOL.co.za

Cape Town – He was always online, tweeting, blogging or sharing his Facebook status. But last Wednesday whisky-loving Briton Wilkes McDermid disappeared. “I haven’t heard anything from him,” said Bernard Gutman, who is desperately searching for his friend. “He hasn’t updated Twitter and there’s nothing on Facebook,” he added.


UPDATE 3 Jan 17:40 – Picked up by international media – Channel 4 has now posted an article on the story…

British tourist missing in Cape Town: police join search – Channel 4 News

Police in Cape Town told Channel 4 News that they were investigating the disappearance of 38-year-old Mr McDermid, who was last seen at t…


Thanks to Felicity Spector, Deputy programme editor, Channel 4 News:

via #missing Wilkes McDermid – a Story to #findWilkes (with images, tweets) · CapeTown · Storify.

UPDATE: Wilkes appears to have been found, hiding out in a posh Cape Town hotel. More on this as we get news.

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