Fugitive mom (17), boyfriend arrested for death of 'raped' daughter (3)
Police have arrested a 17-year-old mother and a 30-year-old father of her child who were on the run after the death of a three-year-old last week after it emerged the toddler succumbed to injuries inflicted on her by the man.
Sowetan published the story on Monday after neighbours of the mother in Diepkloof, Soweto, revealed how the teen mother's boyfriend, who is not the biological father of the deceased child, had allegedly repeatedly abused and raped the child before she died at Chris Hani Baragwanath Academic Hospital in Soweto on Thursday.
She had been admitted at the hospital on Monday for sexual assault in view of her genital and anal lacerations. The abuse by the boyfriend and negligence by the mother were also confirmed by the child's grandmother when Sowetan visited the house on Sunday.
Police spokesperson Brig Mathapelo Peters said the teen mother and her boyfriend are expected to appear in the Protea magistrate's court on Wednesday following their arrest on Tuesday.
"The arrest is in connection with an incident on 15 November 2020 in which her three-year-old daughter was allegedly raped and assaulted in Diepkloof, Soweto. The child succumbed to her injuries and was certified dead on 19 November 2020," said Peters.
Peters said on Monday last week, members of the Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences (FCS) specialised unit were summoned by a medical practitioner from Baragwanath Hospital, alerting the police of the rape of three-year-old child who had been assaulted and brought in for medical attention.
"An urgent forensic investigation was embarked on and all relevant forensic evidence was collected for processing by the SAPS Forensic Science Laboratory," she added.
Peters said It was only on Tuesday, a day after the child was admitted to hospital, that the mother reported the incident to the police. "Nevertheless, this assisted police in obtaining vital information towards building a solid case in order to secure arrests."
Peters said during the preliminary investigation, police were able to establish that on November 15 , the mother of the deceased toddler had left her daughter in the care of her boyfriend for about two hours.
She further said on her return around 8.30pm , she allegedly found that the boyfriend was not in the house but instead the boyfriend's father was around. The child was asleep. She went to sleep not wanting to disturb the child.
"According to the complainant, she woke up in the middle of the night to check on the child, only to find the child with serious injuries to her face. She took the child to nearby Baragwanath Hospital for medical attention," Peters said.
She said the outcome of the medical examination found that the child had been penetrated and that is when the doctor called the police.
"Sadly, the child succumbed to her injuries and was certified dead on Thursday 19 November 2020; and the initial case of assault with intent to cause grievous bodily harm was subsequently changed to murder," Peters said.
"Investigations continue pending the outcome of the forensic analysis as police seek to build a watertight case that can stand in court and see justice served."
Peters added that police have reason to believe that the deceased child may have suffered previous abuse at the hands of the boyfriend and this went unreported.
Acting provincial police commissioner Maj-Gen Patricia Rampota welcomed the arrest and urged the investigating team to ensure that all bases are covered towards attaining justice for the toddler.
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