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Cape Town - Although DNA results are not available yet to confirm whether a body found in Ottery is that of 12-year-old Jennifer Williams, the family of the missing girl will hold a memorial service for her on Thursday morning.
Jennifer’s mother, Rachel Williams, told the Cape Argus on Wednesday she was adamant that the body found by police in a field off Plantation Road, Ottery, was that of her little girl.
“With or without the DNA results from the police, we will have a memorial service for her. We are sure it’s her and we don’t want to wait a day longer to put her to rest,” she said.
Jennifer was last seen swimming in an inflatable pool outside her sister’s house in Parkhurst Walk, Parkwood, on December 20. At the time she was wearing a black-and-yellow two-piece swimming costume. She had also been wearing pink slippers.
Last Thursday, a badly decomposed body was found by a passer-by behind the old Ottery reformatory.
Provincial police spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel André Traut said on Wednesday that the investigators were waiting for the results of DNA tests and forensics analysis. There had been no new developments, Traut said.
Williams said she had caught sight of Jennifer’s unopened Christmas presents on Wednesday and “had a long cry”.
“This whole thing is making me emotional and the waiting is very upsetting. We just want closure… I don’t know how much of this we can take,” she said.
On Monday, Parkwood residents, some of them children, with weapons, went on the rampage after Gerald Croudes, 62, suspected of having been involved in Jennifer’s disappearance, was granted bail.
He was taken in for questioning after police found the body.
Meanwhile, Khayelitsha mother Abongile Mgwebi, 28, is slowly losing hope for the safe return of her five-year-old daughter, Lilitha.
Lilitha disappeared on Christmas morning. She was allegedly snatched while playing with friends a few metres from her home in the Green Point informal settlement.
“We have looked everywhere, including the hospitals, and there is no sign of her. It’s like she vanished into thin air. I am hurting,” Mgwebi said on Wednesday.
Traut said a police hunt was on for Lilitha and there were no new leads.