Last Wednesday, Thomas Puoetsile’s anxious relatives turned up at The Voice begging for help to find their missing son, who went AWOL nine days earlier.
That search ended in tragedy just a day later as the 44-year-old’s dead body was found hanging from a tree in the bushes along the A1 road near Tatisiding.
Indeed, the cops believe Puoetsile may have killed himself the very same day his relatives went to The Voice with their story.
Confirming the sad discovery, Kutlwano Station Commander, Neo Serumola, revealed, “He was found by a passer-by on Thursday in the afternoon around 1600hrs. We suspect he died the day before as his body was not decomposed.”
Speaking with the air of a man fearing the worst but desperately hoping for the best, Puoetsile’s uncle, Odirile Setlhako, told The Voice his nephew left his rented house in Block 1 on Monday 28th June.
“He was staying with the mother of his child. She told me when they woke up they found the door open with Thomas nowhere to be found. We then heard that he had another girlfriend in Mmadinare. We looked for her contacts and called her to ask about my nephew’s whereabouts,” explained Setlhako.
According to Setlhako, the girlfriend confirmed Puoetsile was with her but when she asked him if everything was alright, he broke down in tears.
“She said seeing that he was not himself, she asked him what was wrong and he responded by crying. The following day, she took him to the bus rank. However, the woman continued that when he was on his way back to Francistown, he sent her a message that he was tired of his debts,” continued the uncle.
The text, sent on Tuesday 29th June, read as follows, “Swity this issue of debts has eaten me alive. Ever since ketswa koo ga ke ise ke ye tirong lefaele ko lapeng gake is eke apole dilwana tsele ke nna mo nageng, I’m wanted naga ke raa forest. Gaona madi I know nkabo o nthusetse so I ve decided to leave u and my son with the pain you will take time to heal.
“Please I love u and I’m sorry I’m crying as I speak. Please sala o nthusetsa ngwanake. I’m sorry to do this but I’ve no choice. Tiro ke e tlogetse fela e ntse jalo.”
Later that same day, Setlhako received a call from a mutual friend, who had seen Puoetsile wandering near Matsiloje farms (some 50km out of Francistown) looking lost and confused.
“He told us his boss gave Thomas a lift back to Francistown and dropped him off opposite Marang Hotel.”
Sadly Puoetsile never made it home.