Cape Town - The parents of the missing Bishop Lavis infant had their hopes dashed when police said they had a promising lead but the child turned out to not be their daughter, Kai-isha Maniers.
The latest update in the case of the two-month-old baby comes almost three weeks after her alleged abduction outside a local Shoprite in Bishop Lavis by an unknown woman who disappeared with the child while her mother was inside the shop buying baby milk.
Speaking to the Cape Argus, the baby’s parents said police had followed a lead to Worcester, but the child was not their daughter.
Kai-isha’s mother, Francis Maniers, said: “It’s been hard, but at the same time we seem to be settling into our usual routine as a family. We try not to talk so much about Kai-isha to the other kids so they don’t get upset. As her mom, I’m still moving about, following up on leads and keeping up to date with the police’s leads in the case.”
Last week, the Bishop Lavis Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences Unit released an identikit of the suspect who they believe is involved in the kidnapping.
“Since the identikit was released there have been calls, yes, so I know people are helping us to look, but the picture has not resulted in a big lead yet. I think it’s because the picture doesn’t quite look exactly like her, so we’re hoping to get it updated soon. Maybe that will help,” Maniers said.
Kai-isha’s father, Faiek Maniers, said he believed the police were working as best as they could to find and bring home their baby.
Police spokesperson Frederick van Wyk said: “Please be advised that police are still investigating the kidnapping of Kai-isha Maniers. No arrests have been made. However, detectives are following up on all leads.”
Aside from the police’s round-the-clock investigation, community leaders and neighbouring residents are still supporting the Maniers family through awareness campaigns, tracing operations, and even prayer sessions.
Bishop Lavis community policing forum chairperson Graham Lindhorst said: “We are still doing everything we can to support the family, and we are also in contact with the police, receiving updates often so we can assist when they need us.”
Lindhorst said the forum had a team ready to assist police in searching for the baby, and that the past weekend, community leaders hosted a prayer service for the Maniers and a family in Bishop Lavis that recently lost their two sons in a fire.
He said the residents would hold another interactive service tomorrow to keep encouraging people to assist the police.
Anyone with information can call their nearest police station or Crime Stop anonymously on 08600 10111.