Family, friends worry about Apex man who disappeared in downtown Raleigh

cowens@newsobserver.comAugust 13, 2013 

Weston Vandemerwe

— Family members and friends are worried about the fate of a 23-year-old Apex man who has been missing since leaving a downtown Raleigh bar early Saturday.

Weston Vandemerwe was last seen in front of the Oxford Bar on Fayetteville Street about 1:30 a.m. Saturday.

His mother, Becky Daly, filed a missing persons report over the weekend. About a dozen friends and family members gathered in front of the Oxford on Monday to hang fliers and ask people if they had seen him.

Vandemerwe graduated from East Carolina University in December and works for an insurance company. He lives in Apex.

“This isn’t him at all,” Daly said.

The Raleigh Police Department is investigating the case. A spokesman said there are no indications of foul play at this point, but that it can’t be ruled out.

Vandemerwe’s cellphone died earlier Friday night, friends said, and there has been no credit card activity since he went missing.

His girlfriend, Kaitlyn Holmes, last saw him about 1:30 a.m. She went home in a cab after she and Vandemerwe had an argument, she said, but Vandemerwe walked away.

Holmes described the argument as “typical relationship fighting” and said it didn’t seem like “that big of a fight.”

Ryan Soysal, who left the bar to go home about a half-hour before Holmes, said Vandemerwe had been drinking but “wasn’t incapacitated by any means.”

As Soysal and friends walked around downtown hanging up fliers Monday, they met a group of people who said they saw Vandemerwe off Lenoir Street early Saturday. They described him as “inebriated” off the side of the road and lying on the ground, Soysal said. He said he didn’t want help and they left him there, according to the account the people told Soysal.

Soysal, who went to college with him, said Vandemerwe has become intoxicated and wandered off before. However, he has never been gone longer than 12 hours in the past, Soysal said.

“That’s clearly not a usual thing,” Soysal said.

Friends with Vandemerwe on Friday night said he had been acting normal before he went missing.

“He’s a really level-headed kid, so I would never think anything self-induced,” said Dexter Garner, another college friend who helped hang fliers Monday.

Anyone with information regarding Vandemerwe’s whereabouts should call the Raleigh Police Department at 919-834-4357. He was last seen wearing a red polo shirt, blue shorts and Sperry shoes.

Owens: 919-829-4567

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