'Immense sadness' felt by volunteers who found body of 6-year-old Stacey Adams
Stacy Adams‚ described as a bubbly child who liked jokes and dancing‚ went missing on Saturday from her home in the Eastridge area of Mitchell's Plain in Cape Town. A neighbour is a suspect in her murder.
Forum chairperson Lucinda Evans said when the call came through on Sunday to search for the missing girl‚ "I met the rest of the CPF‚ together with the blockwatches and neighbourhood watches we started with the search."
Evans said the protocol was to start the search from the house. The group of 50 volunteers started searching from the enclosed circle in which the family's home is situated.
Within five minutes of the search‚ Evans said one of the members came across the girl's clothing in a bin‚ next to a Wendy house.
"Two of the members started looking in the bin‚ they discovered the clothing. A member then stepped to the side of the bin‚ and she noticed the sand was loose. They started digging. They found the body there‚" Evans said.
"(Stacy's) family was standing in the doorway at their home. From the doorway‚ you can see where we were digging. It is not far‚ less than 100 metres."
Evans said the discovery of Stacy's body left the search volunteer group mute with shock.
"It was (a feeling of) immense sadness. When we go out on our searches‚ we always have hope. We have hope that we will find the person‚ that we will find the child. So our volunteers had this immense sadness."
Evans added: "What followed was not anticipated‚ the violence that took place."
An angry group had gathered around the home near where the body was found. The crowd threw stones and petrol bombs at the suspect's home.
"As a result we had to withdraw our volunteers to a safer distance. They were directly in line with where the community was pelting them with stones. Two of the volunteers were injured‚" she said.
Police intervened to stabilise the situation. SAPS spokesperson Lieutenant-Colonel Andre Traut said a suspect would appear in court on Wednesday.
When contacted on Tuesday afternoon‚ a spokesperson said the family was at the mortuary for the painful process of identifying Stacey's body. The delay is likely due to a post-mortem being conducted‚ owing to the suspected unnatural circumstances of her death.
Police Minister Bheki Cele visited the family on Monday‚ where he was met with antagonism. The community complained about the overcrowding‚ unemployment and drugs in their neighbourhood‚ which they said served as a powder keg for the suspected crime.
“I believe that when someone is sick and dies‚ we all accept it‚ but when someone is bubbling and healthy and the next few minutes that person is gone ... it breaks hearts‚” Cele said.
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