Cape Town -
Nine months after the disappearance of four-year-old Shaskia Michaels of Tafelsig, police are still trying to uncover what happened to her.
Shaskia, 4, went missing from outside her home in Bayern Munich Road, Tafelsig on September 5. She hasn’t been seen since.
“The investigation into the disappearance of Shaskia Michaels is still ongoing, however no new information regarding her whereabouts has come to light,” said police spokesman FC van Wyk this week.
He again asked anyone with information to contact the police.
On the Thursday she disappeared, Shaskia was playing outside her parents’ house in the care of her grandfather. She was wearing a pink polo-neck shirt and black slippers.
Shaskia’s grandmother, Roslyn Farao, said at the time that the family realised the toddler was missing when her grandfather - William Faroa - called out to her.
Her disappearance sparked a huge search by police, the local neighbourhood watch and members of the Mitchells Plain Community Police Forum.
Door-to-door searches were conducted and flyers with her picture were handed out. A helicopter searched the nearby Wolfgat Nature Reserve.
Every house in Bayern Munich Road was examined. But there were no leads.
Cape Town Mayor Patricia de Lille offered R50 000 reward for information and joined community search efforts.
“As a parent, I can only imagine what Shaskia’s family is going through,” she said.
“I hope the reward money will lead to the arrest and prosecution of the perpetrators.”
Two days after her disappearance, two Grade 6 pupils from Tafelsig Primary School told their parents they saw a young girl being pushed in a trolley by a man around the time of her disappearance.
The girl resembled Shaskia.
The parents told the Mitchells Plain Community Police Forum, who went with police to the area where the man was seen. But investigations turned up no leads.
Police later questioned two men about her disappearance, but they were released without charge.
The events took a heavy toll on her family.
The house where Shaskia lived is next door to that of another missing girl, Kauthar Bobbs.
The two disappeared almost a year apart, sparking fears that children in the area were being targeted for abduction.
Kauthar’s disappearance also remains unsolved.
She went missing on October 11, 2012 from a park near her Freedom Park home. She was last seen wearing a pink top and blue pajama pants.
Late last year, police descended on a sandy area behind Kauthar’s and Shaskia’s homes, where they spent several hours digging.
Police, some wearing forensic suits, found a baby bottle, a blanket and “small bones” - possibly of a dog - but nothing that shed more light on disappearance of either girl.
- Police have asked anyone with information about Shaskia’s whereabouts to contact the investigating officer Lieutenant Truter on 021 370 1782 or Crime Stop on 08600 10111.
- Saturday Argus