Parents of missing French teenager Eloi Rolland make pilgrimage to New Zealand
Eloi Rolland came to New Zealand in 2019 to learn English. Six months later, he disappeared without a trace in the Piha area, West Auckland. Photo / Provided
The parents of a French student who disappeared during an early morning visit to Piha just before the first Covid-19 outbreak have come to New Zealand to look for their son.
There has been no trace of Eloi Rolland since the morning of March 7, 2020, when the 18-year-old got up before dawn and took public transport – CCTV for which he captured it for the last time walking on Fruitvale Rd – to West Auckland Beach.
Cell phone data would later place it near the intersection of Piha Rd and Scenic Drive at 9:18 a.m.
Since then, despite multiple searches and a police investigation, Rolland’s fate remains unknown.
Days after Rolland’s disappearance, New Zealand closed its borders to non-residents as the Covid-19 pandemic worsened, preventing the teenager’s parents from traveling to join searchers.
This month, days after the country opened its borders to vaccinated travelers from visa-free countries, such as France, Rolland’s parents, Catherine and Thierry, arrived in New Zealand.
“Hi everyone, Catherine and Thierry Rolland are currently in…Auckland looking for our missing son Éloi Rolland,” said a post on Thierry Rolland’s Facebook.
Included was a link to a video of them talking to their son.
“We are here… we leave you our message to tell you that we love you,” said Thierry Rolland on the video posted on social networks.
“And that if you need us, do not hesitate to contact us,” he added, referring to an email address for his son to get in touch with – firstname.lastname@example.org
“We would like to take you in our arms and kiss you very much.”
Rolland arrived in New Zealand in September 2019 to learn English.
Her first few months were fine, but her life then began to go downhill, with an unrequited love interest in a classmate and a deterioration in her mental health that created problems with her foster families and employers. , and worried his language school tutor so much that she thought he needed to return to France.
The Montepellier native was laid off from two hospitality jobs, one after an incident in mid-February where he ran around dining tables saying he had coronavirus.
Another encounter involved a 3 a.m. meeting with mayoral candidate, restaurateur and provocateur Leo Molloy.
Prior to his disappearance, a plane ticket was booked for Rolland to return home on March 20, 2020. He promised his mother that he would first collect sand from Piha Beach for her as a keepsake.
Meanwhile, a documentary crew has joined Rolland’s parents in New Zealand, with French director Bruno Dupuis telling Stuff that the disappearance has received little attention in France.
“The media has not been fair in the case of Eloi.”