Lost teen dead

GRIEF-stricken Costello Tabalawaki could not contain his emotions yesterday as he watched Sabeto villagers and police officers retrieve the body of his son, 19-year-old Ilaisa Nabou.

The resort chef had been reported missing since Sunday when he went swimming with friends at the height of Tropical Cyclone Josie in the flooded Sabeto River.

Mr Tabalawaki said his family could finally put Ilaisa to rest.

“The most important thing is that we found him,” he said.

“It’s been three days and we were waiting for news of him. We wanted to find him because it was important to us to give him a proper burial.

“We are thankful to the police and the people of Sabeto for helping in the search for Ilaisa.

Mr Tabalawaki said the loss of his son would have a huge impact on the family.

“I have three children and he was my eldest. I was so proud of him because he was the first to find a job out of my children, he used to work at Radisson Blu Resort.

“He is the one that I depended on the most. He was a good boy who was always happy and smiling.

“I never dreamt that something like this would happen to him.

“He had a lot of friends in Sabeto Village and they were praying for his safe return but now that we have found him I know it will really affect a lot of people who knew him because he was a very popular boy.”

Fiji Police Force director operations Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Livai Driu confirmed the discovery made by a police search team yesterday.

He said the confirmed death toll for TC Josie was now at six with a young Naviyago villager still missing.

SSP Driu added that the search was continuing for a seven-year-old boy from Naviyago Village, Lautoka, who also went missing in flood waters on Sunday.

It is understood the boy had gone crabbing with his 55-year-old grandfather.

The body of his grandfather was recovered on Sunday.

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