Missing Joshlin Smith latest: SAPS urge public to refrain from filming searches

Joshlin Smith was last seen on Monday, February 19. Photo: SAPS

Joshlin Smith was last seen on Monday, February 19. Photo: SAPS

Published Mar 4, 2024


As the search for the missing six-year-old from Saldanha Bay enters its 14th day, police have urged members of the public to refrain from spreading misinformation and recording searches.

Joshlin Smith was last seen on Monday, February 19, at around 5pm. She is a Grade 1 learner at Diazville Primary School.

The Western Cape police spokesperson, Brigadier Novela Potelwa said the search is intensifying and an identified area in Diazville has been subdivided into zones as part of the coordination of the search.

“The search party has also been bolstered by a contingent from the local South African Navy joining the search and another large group from the City of Cape Town also deployed from Monday to the area,” Potelwa said.

She said the Saldanha Bay municipality’s firefighters were also playing a pivotal role in the search and were applying their expertise.

“The South African Police Service has also brought in the services of the mounted unit, more specialised dogs from the K-9 unit are set to scour the identified area.”

Detectives from the provincial office for SA Police Service (SAPS) in Cape Town have since descended on the West Coast town to support the local investigators, she said.

Potelwa said drones from the SAPS and the City of Cape Town were used to enhance the efforts of the roleplayers.

“A humble plea is hereby made by the South African Police Service investigators to members of the public to refrain from spreading false information on social media and desist from recording the searches as this may adversely impact the investigation,” Potelwa said.

“The primary focus of the coordinated efforts should be to find Joshlin or what happened to her.”

At the time of Joshlin’s disappearance, her mother, Kelly Smith told police she asked about the whereabouts of the child, but could not find her. She later got hold of her boyfriend, Jacquin Appollis, who was supposed to look after the child, but he could not account for her whereabouts.

Residents in Saldanha Bay continued to search for missing Joshlin Smith. Photo: Kim Kay/IOL

Joshlin was last seen wearing a light blue T-shirt and light blue denim shorts. She also has a birthmark located on her left arm.

On Saturday, Police Minister Bheki Cele together with SAPS management led by Provincial Commissioner Lieutenant General Thembisile Patekile, visited the community of Saldanha Bay and engaged with members of the community who have been searching day and night for the missing girl.

The City of Cape Town also deployed resources including its marine unit services, K9 unit, and more after police announced it would be scaling back its searches.

Residents in Saldanha Bay continued to search for missing Joshlin Smith. Photo: Kim Kay/IOL

On Sunday, police confirmed the search for Joshlin had been expanded with drones and rescue dogs deployed in the area.

Police said pieces of clothing allegedly stained with blood were discovered on an open field on Saturday evening during random searches.

The clothing has been sent to the forensic laboratory for analysis.

Diazville Primary School is waiting for the return of their Grade 1 learner, Joshlin Smith. Photo: Kim Kay/IOL

Scores of neighbourhood watch members, community-based organisations, and local residents have continued to work around the clock in search of Joshlin.

Potelwa confirmed the alleged bloodied items found at the weekend have been sent to the Plattekloof laboratory.

Anyone with information, regarding the whereabouts of the missing Joshlin, is requested to contact the investigation officer, Sergeant Millstine of Vredenburg FCS at 079 879 8588 or Crime Stop at 086 001 0111.

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