Everyone who knew the man believed he had suddenly headed to the popular tourist destination off the coast of northern Africa.
But now suspicions are mounting that the 65-year-old was actually murdered by his son, who himself died in a traffic accident over the summer in what police believe was a suicide.
Before he died, however, the son had reportedly begun spreading frightening information about his father to the people who knew him.
“The son had given information to different people and in different ways that his father was dead,” said commissioner Thord Haraldsson of the Trollhättan police, to the TT news agency.
The information about the father’s supposed death eventually reached police, who then launched a murder investigation.
“The son had given a version of what had happened and confirmed that the father was dead. But we have reason to question if things really happened the way he described,” said Haraldsson.
The father lived in Vänersborg in western Sweden, where he was last seen around Christmas 2007 or January 2008. He was never reported missing.
“Everyone believed he had been in the Canary Islands. It wasn’t that strange because he didn’t like the Swedish winters and had previously been abroad for extended periods of time,” said Haraldsson.
The police eventually concluded that reports of the 65-year-old’s visit to the Canary Islands had originated with the now deceased son, who managed to deceive everyone who knew his father.
The man’s relatives had called and emailed the 65-year-old, and received replies. But police now believe that it was the man’s son who had responded, the Expressen newspaper reports.
Now police have launched a hunt for the 65-year-old’s body. On Thursday they plan to dig in the backyard of his house.
“We have reason to suspect that the son committed some sort of crime against his father, but we can’t be sure until we find the body,” said Haraldsson.
Other than the son, the police have no other suspects in the case.
“We’ve investigated this over the summer, but nothing [about another possible suspect] has come up, despite the fact that we’ve interviewed many people,” Haraldsson added.