Cape Town - A Bishop Lavis couple are pleading for the safe return of their 2-month-old daughter who was allegedly abducted outside a grocery shop in the area.
Kai-isha Meniers’s family said she was last seen with an unknown woman outside Shoprite on Saturday afternoon, while her mother, Francis Meniers, stepped inside to buy baby milk.
Kai-isha’s sister, Shaieda Meniers, who met the suspect, said she believed the woman approached her mother under the guise of a good Samaritan to gain her trust so she could abduct her sister.
“On Saturday afternoon my mom called me, saying that she had met someone who wanted to help her buy milk, nappies and wipes for the baby. She didn’t know whether she should trust her – that’s why she called me – and I was apprehensive at first, but in the end I thought, why not?
“I went to meet them at the shops, along with my boyfriend, and sure enough she was promising to buy things for us, which she did. The stuff she bought is in the house. I personally went in with her to some shops to buy things because we were comparing prices.
“So when she told us she would like to see where we lived so that she could come next time she had something to give, she came home with us.
“She had said she would take a taxi home afterwards, but as soon as we got here the story changed and she insisted on talking to my mom, which I thought was weird, but we let her.
“I was walking with my boyfriend ahead of her and my mom and I remember mentioning to him that something wasn’t right about the woman, but we brushed it off.”
Meniers said that after speaking to her mother, the woman – who had a thick accent – told her she was going to Shoprite where she would meet her husband who was working there. She had convinced my mom to come with her so she could get milk for the baby, that’s what was left. They left to go to Shoprite and that was it.”
Kai-isha’s father, Faiek Meniers, said: “I feel terrible and I honestly don’t know what to do. I want my baby back home but I don’t even know where to start looking. My wife cannot tell me clearly what happened, she’s devastated, angry and just lost at this point.
“She’s even mad at me so I don’t know what to tell you. Right now my wife has left to go search in Freedom Farm, there has also been talk of the baby being in the Malawi informal settlement. We don’t know and the police are still investigating.”
The community’s local councillor and Community Policing Forum (CPF), accompanied by Neighbourhood Watch Members (NHW), visited the Meniers family on Monday morning.
Bishop Lavis CPF chairperson Graham Lindhorst said: “Now that we have met with the family we will start mobilising the community, especially our NHW members, to assist in looking for the baby. This is a terrible thing and we can’t begin to imagine what this family is going through. We will do our best to support them through this time.”
Bishop Lavis councillor Charles Esau said: “There is no understanding of such incidents. As a community, we need to unite and support this family. We call upon everyone to keep an eye out and support police in the search. I also call for calm in the community; we can’t afford to be disjointed at such a time.”
Investigating officer Thembisa Buqa said police are following up leads.
Anyone with any information about the incident or who can help the police find the suspect and the baby is requested to contact Detective Sergeant Buqa at 073 519 3384/021 935 9806 or Crime Stop on 08600 10111.