A 34-year-old marketing manager from Kerala has gone missing in Chikkamagaluru whilst on a solo bike trip to Karnataka. Sandeep S from Kozhikode left his house at dawn on Saturday and was last contacted on Sunday afternoon. The police traced his last call to the Koppa mobile tower in Chikkamagaluru and later found his bike parked on the Tunga bridge in the town.
"Sandeep's bike - a UM Renegade - was found neatly parked on top of the Tunga bridge above the river in Nagalapura, Koppa. There were no signs of struggle or theft. We found his bag with ID and documents inside them," the police said.
A watch and towel suspected to be Sandeep's have also been discovered near the river bank by the police, indicating that he may have taken a dip in the Tungabadhra river during his pitstop.
Speaking to TNM, Sandeep's colleague at Ibird advertising in Kozhikode, who did not wish to be named, said that he had promised his family that he would reach home by Sunday night, so that he could make it to work on Monday.
"On Saturday dawn, he left from his house in Palazhi on his bike. By around 9:45 am, he had hit the Mysore Road. He had even posted a picture of the road he was passing on Facebook," his colleague told TNM.
After completing his 8-hour journey on Saturday, Sandeep stopped at Mullayangiri in Chikkamagaluru to spend the night.
"He left from Mullayangiri via the Sringeri and Shivamogga route the next morning. The last call he made on Sunday was to his wife at 12 or 1 in the afternoon," Sandeep's colleague added.
The Chikkamaguluru police, who were in touch with the Nalallam police station in Kerala where a missing case was filed, confirmed that the bike belonged to Sandeep when they recovered his id proof in the bag. Since the bike was parked on top of the bridge, the police deployed a few divers who searched for Sandeep in the river. However, there were no traces of him.
The 34-year-old is married with wife and 4-year-old son. The Nalallam police have arrived at Koppa to continue the search operations. "We suspect two things. Either Sandeep had gone to take a dip in the river and got washed away. Or he would have entered the forest near the river where he is either lost or encountered something dangerous," the police said.