Cape Town - A teenager who went running in Tokai Forest was found murdered on Monday afternoon. Police suspect she was strangled.
The 15-year-old, from Kalk Bay and a Constantia Waldorf pupil, had been with her mother, younger sister and the family dog, according to a friend of the family.
The girl jogged off in a different direction from her mother and sister, and had planned to meet up with them a few minutes later.
It is understood they regularly went to the forest for an afternoon jog.
Her mother became anxious when her daughter was about 25 minutes late and started searching for her. When she couldn’t find her, she raised the alarm.
According to a source, the girl called her father while she was being attacked, but there was nothing he could do.
The family friend, who did not want to be named, said: “It is just so sad. It was 4.15pm, there were lots of people in the forest at that time. They are devastated.”
Kirstenhof Crime Watch vice-chairperson Carolynne Franklin said they activated a search party after 4pm when the teenager’s mother could not find her.
Franklin said they had an amazing response to their call for help and 50 patrollers descended on the forest within minutes to help search for the girl.
About 25 minutes later her body was discovered under fynbos in the forest. Franklin said she had been badly beaten.
EMS spokesperson Robert Daniels said paramedics declared her dead on the scene.
The forest is a popular place for runners, dog walkers and families. On Monday night police were sweeping the area for clues and a search for the suspect was under way.
Franklin said the mother and her daughters often went running in the forest after school.
Police spokesperson Andre Traut said: “This afternoon the body of a 15-year-old girl was discovered in Dennedal Road, Kirstenhof. The victim was possibly strangled.
“She was reported missing earlier after going jogging and failing to return. No one has been arrested yet.”
Anyone with information can contact Crimestop on 08600 10111 or SMS Crimeline 32211.