A man has come forward stating he rented the same jet ski the same day a missing Montclair couple vanished during a jet ski excursion in Barbados three months ago. He claims he experienced mechanical problems, returned the vehicle and was refunded his money.

The jet ski was recovered off the southern coast of Guadeloupe in July after a French naval vessel spotted the watercraft floating in the water.

Susanna Cruz, the sister of Oscar Suarez, said the family was contacted by a British man, who after hearing that Oscar Suarez and Magdalena Devil had vanished on a jet ski from the same company he had rented from, he compared photos of the recovered jet ski released by the media with ones he had taken during his own trip and found. The jet ski was the same one he had rented, he told Susanna Cruz.

When the man went out on the jet ski, he found that the ski was having mechanical problems, to the point that he had to return early, Cruz said.

Suarez and Devil arrived in Barbados on June 24 for a week-long vacation to celebrate Devil’s birthday. The couple’s original travel plans had included the Dominican Republic, but they switched to a vacation in Barbados due to safety concerns over reports of recent tourists’ deaths.

On June 26, the couple rented a jet ski from an operator in Holetown Beach and set off on an excursion. When the couple did not return within the time limit, the jet ski operator became concerned and started contacting other companies in the area to ask if they had seen the couple, and then contacted police.

Authorities conducted a week-long air and sea-based search, but could not find any sign of the couple. The search was to have lasted three days, but was extended to six at the behest of the Barbadian prime minister’s office.

It was also determined that the couple had not returned to the hotel. The couple’s belongings, including their towels and sandals, were still on the beach.

The whereabouts of Suarez or Devil remain a mystery and the families are frustrated by a lack of communication from authorities.

“We’re [at] 13 weeks since my brother went missing,” Susanna Cruz said about the lack of communication.

The families hired a private investigator, who did his own search in the area of the West Indies, from Guadeloupe to Tobago. But at this point, Susanna Cruz said, the family has exhausted all of its resources and can no longer afford the investigator’s services.

The investigator was also present when the FBI did an examination of the jet ski, but he was not permitted to participate in the actual examination. And the results of the examination would have been turned over to the Royal Barbados Police Force. The family has not heard anything about a supposed examination by authorities of security camera footage facing the beach where the couple set out.

Although Susanna Cruz has been designated as the family’s point of contact, the embassy’s most recent call in September was to Suarez’s mother instead. The phone call turned out not to reveal any news, only that the authorities had not yet completed their review of the security camera footage or of the jet ski.

While family members try to remain hopeful, urging state and local representatives to continue applying pressure to the U.S. Embassy in Barbados to take action in finding the couple, the disappearance has taken a heavy emotional toll on the entire family, including Suarez’s mother and two children, Cruz said.

“All we’re asking for is clear and open communication. We’re not asking for miracles.”