A lawyer for Ghana national team star Asamoah Gyan released a lengthy statement on Wednesday to declare any connection between the veteran footballer and the disappearance of Castro, a popular rapper from the country, and his girlfriend, Janet Badu, as "wild allegations and rumours."
The Guardian reports the pair went missing in July during a vacation with the Gyan family. It was presumed they drowned after last being seen while using jet skis at a Ghanaian resort, but the bodies were never located.
That led to speculation in the country about a potential "ritual sacrifice," something he had continually denied from the outset.
Gyan, who left Sunderland for a lucrative deal with Abu Dhabi's Al Ain in 2012, has always denied any involvement, but that failed to stop the speculation spreading, prompting his decision to call a press conference.
Lawyer Kissi Agyabeng held a press conference at the Alisa Hotel in Ghana on behalf of the Gyan family with hope of setting the record straight. The entire statement was posted on the player's official site.
He stated a large portion of the group had been partaking in jet ski rides, but decided to return to the resort for a game of volleyball. Castro and Badu decided to go back out on the water, however, and didn't return:
When Castro got to Peace Holiday Resort Janet Bandu requested to ride on the jet ski with him, and he obliged her. While she was climbing on board Castro's jet ski, Baffour Gyan noticed that she was not wearing a life jacket. He immediately shot up to his feet and remonstrated with Castro to ensure that Janet wore a life jacket before setting off. Castro sped off, as soon as Janet sat behind him, toward the estuary—in the direction of where the Volta joins the Atlantic. They have not returned, eighty (80) odd days since they set off.
The statement went on to say the family has remained quiet because it didn't want to interfere with the police investigation into the disappearance. It also notes no evidence has been brought forward to back up the claims:
In our painful silence, we have been totally dismayed by the fact that the platform was provided for the peddling of these wild and ludicrous allegations and rumours against us. Those to whom the platform was provided offered no evidence whatsoever to back their statements. And indeed, the allegation of spiritual sacrifice can by no stretch of the imagination be propped up.
Castro and the Black Stars captain were collaborating on another project at the time of the vacation, the statement read:
We know Castro all too well. He was our brother. We loved him as one of our own. We did everything together with him. You are all witnesses to the hit songs Castro has been featuring Asamoah Gyan on and the added popularity that gave him. Indeed, the duo were just about to release another song. We will never do anything to harm him.
We are in unimaginable pain and shock and we will give anything to Castro and Janet back.
Gyan, 28, and the Ghana national team are scheduled to play two matches next month as part of the Africa Cup on Nations qualification process. That includes a home fixture against Guinea on Oct. 15.