Top stories of 2012: Nathan Clarke disappearance

Nathan Clarke, a British teaching assistant living and working in the Cayman Islands, disappeared from Seven Mile Beach on the evening of Saturday, 25 February, and has not been seen since. 

Mr. Clarke had been out with his fiancée Lisa Beck and friends at Calico Jack’s bar at Public Beach. He was last seen near the waterfront. 

His disappearance sparked an intensive search on land and at sea that spanned more than two weeks.  

With the police helicopter undergoing maintenance off-island, his friends and family hired a private helicopter to search the land and sea, while hundreds of volunteers walked through roadside brush areas and took part in search dives to try to locate the popular 31-year-old Cayman Prep teaching assistant. 

Police checked CCTV cameras in the area and concluded that it did not seem likely he had left the beach and gotten in a car.  

Early in the investigation into Mr. Clarke’s disappearance, police said they had ruled out foul play. 

The only trace that was found of Mr. Clarke was his mobile phone, recovered from the sea by a snorkelling cruise ship tourist in about 10 feet of water, 150 feet off Public Beach four days after he went missing. 

Police search and recovery dogs from Miami Dade’s K-9 Unit in Florida joined the sea search for the missing man 11 days after the last sighting of him, but also found no trace. 

Members of both Mr. Clarke’s and Ms Beck’s families flew to Cayman to take part in the search and speak to police and volunteers about the disappearance.  

Police called off their search for Mr. Clarke on 11 March, saying they had exhausted all the search areas on land and at sea. 

In his native England, Mr. Clarke’s disappearance made national headlines. 

Mr. Clarke, from Cheltenham, UK, had lived in the Cayman Islands for four years. Prior to starting a new career in education in September 2011, he had worked in the watersports industry in Cayman. 

He was the third person to disappear in Cayman during a 14-month period. Caymanian Anna Evans, age 37 – a Department of Environmental Health worker – was last seen at the George Town landfill on 27 January, 2011. Six months later, on 30 July, 2011, 25-year-old Jamaican nurse Kerran Baker disappeared from her home in Bodden Town. The Baker case was later classified as murder. 

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