Classmates of missing teenager Samuel Macharia look on during the search for the Kenyan student yesterday.
Classmates of missing teenager Samuel Macharia look on during the search for the Kenyan student yesterday. John Gass

Divers join search for missing Sam

POLICE divers from Sydney will arrive at Cabarita Beach today to continue the search for missing Kenyan teenager Samuel Macharia.

The 16-year-old student who originally came to Australia as an orphan sponsored by Tweed Shire Council five years ago, did not return home following an afternoon run and swim at Cabarita Beach on Sunday.

Police fear Samuel has drowned as the full land and ocean search enters its fourth day today.

His backpack containing his clothes and mobile phone was found on the beach on Sunday.

It was a sombre scene yesterday morning at the beach as groups of teenagers huddled together against the wind, watching the continued search for their missing friend.

Coffs Harbour police are now heading the search, involving SES, the Westpac Life Saver Rescue Helicopter, two inflatable rigid boats and jet skis.

Samuel had never seen a beach before leaving the slums of Nairobi for Australia to start a new life as an emerging soccer star.

He came to Australia in 2007 on a cultural exchange program sponsored by the council and was welcomed into the home of temporary foster parents Bernie and Sandra Zietlow.

The Lindisfarne Anglican Grammar School student was just days away from his Year 10 graduation when he was reported missing.

Inspector Darren Steel from Tweed police said the search was suspended again late yesterday afternoon.

"The search has been suspended as we're waiting for police divers from Sydney," Insp Steel said.

If you have seen Samuel or know his whereabouts contact police or Crime Stoppers on 1800333000.

 



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