The family of Bon Accord missing fisherman Brian “Pempo” Cox on Friday added a new twist to the mystery of his disappearance over 41 days ago.
A close relative of Cox told Newsday on Friday the family has been struggling to cope with his disappearance and as time passes their hope dwindles.
Saying they are ready to “break their silence,” the family member said they believe Cox was attacked at sea by a local fisherman with whom he had a disagreement with.
Newsday was told Cox received death threats in the past and made a complaint to the Crown Point police station on July 24. Snr Supt Sterling Roberts confirmed to Newsday on Friday a report was made on that date and an investigation was launched into the matter. However, he was unable to give details on the status of the investigation.
“The fisherman approached...(Cox) and told him, ‘Leh me catch you out deh (out at sea), I will run you over with my boat.’ Cox was not the only one being threatened. The man used to say he has no fear in killing anyone and he knows how to make people disappear.”
A vessel, bearing the description of Cox's pirogue, was found last week submerged in waters off Grenada.
“When I spoke to the fisherman (who found the boat), he asked if (Cox's) boat was damaged before the event. It wasn’t, and he said it was very strange that the vessel appeared to be run over. The interior and exterior were damaged, including the engine.”
Newsday spoke briefly to the mother of Cox’s son, who said she has not been handling the situation well.
She feels the police didn’t conduct a thorough investigation when Cox complained about the threats and after he was reported missing.
Cox, who is businessman, a THA employee and did fishing as a hobby in his pirogue, left his Gaskin Bay Road Ext home for Milford Bay on September 1 and was expected to return home that evening.
His family reported him missing the next day at the Crown Point police station.
One week later false information of his safe return circulated on social media. It was rumoured he was found in Venezuela badly beaten but alive. Coast Guard officials told Newsday the rumour was false and the search for him continued.
The close relative said the fake news left the family frustrated and distraught.
"We felt disregarded and disrespected as a consequence. Putting the information on social media cannot help our family find him. The false report raises our hopes and then tears us apart emotionally, more than words can describe. Put yourself in our shoes.”
She said the family has been giving the coast guard and police all the information they can find but they continue to act “sluggish” on their efforts to bring light to the mystery.
“Police never informed the coast guard that he (Cox) was missing. It was a relative who called coast guard, hours after the report was made to police, trying to get an update. Coast guard said this is the first time they receiving such a report.”
Fishermen launched their own search party but their efforts were unsuccessful. The family is now clueless as to whether the search by coast guard has been called off due to the lack of communication between both parties.
The relative said despite the unfortunate circumstance the disappearance of Cox has brought the family closer together and has made them appreciate what they had taken for granted.