Police seek suspect after girl found murdered in the Free State on New Year’s Day

Police released this identikit of the suspect. Picture: SAPS

Police released this identikit of the suspect. Picture: SAPS

Published Jan 12, 2024


A Free State community is still reeling in shock after the body of an abducted five-year-old girl was found on New Year’s Day in Virginia.

Police have since released an identikit of the suspect who is still at large.

The provincial police spokesperson, Captain Stephen Thakeng said the child’s body was recovered in a river next to the Virginia Correctional Services.

The child was abducted from her home on December 31.

“The police were informed and a search was conducted with the assistance of residents of Meloding.

“On January 1, 2024, at about 1pm, a passer-by informed the police about the body in the river next to Virginia Correctional Services, which was retrieved by the Welkom K9 Search and Rescue Unit. The girl was positively identified by a family member,” Thakeng said.

Post-mortem results have revealed the child had been raped.

“A case of abduction, rape, and murder was registered, and the suspect is still at large. An identikit was compiled of a person of interest who may be able to assist with the investigation,” Thakeng said.

Police urge anyone with information regarding the crime to contact the nearest police station, Crime Stop on 086-001-0111 or share information on the MySAPS App anonymously.

Meanwhile, on Thursday, police found the body of missing four-year-old Reitumetse Madibeng.

She had been missing since Saturday, January 6, and was last seen in the company of her cousins, aged 19 and 20.

The women left their home in Kanana with the child and were headed for the farms along the R702 Road area.

The cousins have since been arrested on charges of child neglect after they left the little girl under a tree when she got tired of walking.

Police have opened a case of murder.

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