Durban - A young Hillary woman who went missing for more than a week has returned home unharmed to her family.
She had left home to be with her boyfriend.
Nadia van Wyk, 20, who is 1.1 metres tall, turned up at the Bellair police station on Wednesday after a man approached her at a Chatsworth shopping centre and told her that her family was looking for her.
The man had seen her picture in a newspaper under the missing persons section.
“I did not know that people were looking for me. It was only after I asked for the newspaper that I saw the article,” said Van Wyk.
“I contacted Warrant Officer Derek Freddy Vijiam immediately and told him I was safe. I asked to speak with him before I saw my family.”
Van Wyk admitted to planning her departure from her home in Dorset Place, Hillary.
She said she conjured the idea last week, and executed her scheme at the first opportunity.
“My dad told my sister and me that we were not allowed to have a boyfriend until we were 25,” she said.
“I met a guy whom I developed feelings for and we started dating.”
This had prompted her to leave home. “I felt the need to be with him, but was afraid to bring him home. So I called him and told him to pick me up.”
Van Wyk said she had been staying with him and his family since her disappearance.
Her mother, René van Wyk, said she was happy to have her daughter back home.
“When police said they had found her, I left work immediately and went to see my little girl. We don’t know why she left home or where she’s been as she refuses to tell us anything,” she said. “But for now, we are just grateful she’s back.”
She said they were strict with their daughters and could understand why Nadia had been afraid.
René said she had encouraged Nadia to bring her new friend home.
Police spokesman, Captain Thulani Zwane, said Van Wyk had been found unharmed.