MARIGOT--What should have been an enjoyable family Christmas turned into a nightmare for the Maragnes family. Their son and brother Manoel Maragnes, who was supposed to arrive home in Guadeloupe to celebrate Christmas with his family, went missing just before the holidays. Nothing has been heard of him since.
Manoel was just in the process of completing his International Business studies in France, and was working on a research project in St. Maarten as part of his course. He was due to present a business plan relating to this project in January.
Manoel arrived in St. Maarten on December 10 and stayed in the Beach Plaza Hotel in Marigot. On December 13, his family was at the Guadeloupe airport to welcome him, but he never arrived.
"We are heartbroken," say Manoel's parents Marie-Lyne and Emmanuel Maragnes. "Manoel was not on the aircraft, but he didn't call us. That's when we knew something was wrong." His parents describe him as "a responsible and independent boy, who is very close to us and to his younger sister."
"Manoel is a serious, quiet boy. He is a perfectionist and was working hard on his business plan for a business which involved selling swim wear online. He was also in the process of creating a Website for his business. It was to promote this business and research the market that he was on St. Maarten. He was working so hard on his project, he was fully focussed and put aside outside influences so he could concentrate on it."
The Maragnes explain that Manoel is normally in touch with his family every day. He shares details about his project, his life, and normally consults his family if he has any issues. "He especially keeps in contact when he's abroad. If he had simply missed his flight he would definitely have called" they say.
The family came to French St. Martin the next day. The police were contacted, and it was discovered that Manoel had left all his personal belongings in his hotel room, including his passport and his credit card. His rental vehicle was found in the Lowlands, with damage to one side.
"We feel heartbroken," say the parents again, "but we will not lose hope. It is inconceivable to us that Manoel will not be found. Our son cannot just evaporate into thin air. We are very close as a family. We love him. Wherever he is, he needs our help. There must be someone, somewhere who knows what happened to Manoel. Please contact us, or contact the police. We will continue to distribute leaflets, to try and get all the information we can to help our son. We cannot live without getting some answers."
Manoel's parents will not give up hope that their son will return. Anyone who can help, who has seen Manoel in the hours leading up to his disappearance and who has not spoken to the police yet is requested to do so. Both the French side police or the Dutch side police may be contacted.