Gauteng police arrested two male suspects, aged 16 and 36, in Eden Park on Tuesday afternoon following the discovery of the body of a 9-year old girl who had been missing since around 07:00 that morning.
According to the mother of the deceased, she had sent her daughter to a nearby tuck shop at around 07:00. That was the last time the child was seen.
Police spokesperson Brigadier Mathapelo Peters said the child was only reported missing at the Eden Park police station at around 14:00.
Police immediately activated a multi-disciplinary search party and together with some community members, started searching for the child.
“At the tuck shop where the child had gone, the 16-year old suspect who assists there could not provide satisfactory answers [when] questioned about the whereabouts of the missing child. This is when the search was extended to his room, where the body of the girl was found with a stab wound to the upper body, wrapped in plastic,” Peters said.
The teenager and the 36-year-old tuck shop owner were arrested. It was found that the tuck shop owner was in possession of a fraudulent South African identity document.
Wife arrested after vigilante attack
Following the arrests, community members allegedly attacked and injured the 27-year-old wife of the tuck shop owner.
Police were able to rescue the woman, who was then transported to a nearby hospital for medical attention.
“Further investigation into this case saw police also arrest the injured woman as an accomplice and she remains in hospital under police guard,” Peters said.
The two male suspects are expected to appear in the Palm Ridge Magistrate’s Court on Thursday, while the woman will appear in absentia.
The three have been charged with kidnapping, murder and the contravention of the Immigration Act.
“The public is reminded that there is absolutely no waiting period to report a missing person. The South African Police Service commits to giving priority attention to cases where women, children and other vulnerable persons are victims,” Peters said.
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