A 16-year-old Wentworth girl who was found murdered, gagged and possibly raped would have known her killer, her grieving mother said.

Tenique Stevens, a Grade 11 pupil at Umbilo Secondary School, was found dead on paved area at Cuttings Beach in Merebank East by fishermen on Tuesday.

Her mother Fiona Stevens, 35, said the night before her daughter’s body was discovered she received a telephone call from someone using her daughter’s cellphone.

“A man was on the other end. He said his daughters went to school with Tenique and she was with his family and would sleep over there as she was very upset,” said Stevens.

“He said he would bring her home in the morning,”

The caller had referred to himself only as Kevin, and sounded polite and quite caring, she said. But, without giving her a chance to respond, Stevens said the man then cut the connection, and when she tried to phone back the call went to voicemail.

“I know my daughter and she would never go anywhere with someone she doesn’t know,” Stevens said. “I don’t know how he lured her into going with him, only the Lord knows.”

Stevens said she had last seen her daughter on Sunday when the mother left for work.

She said the family began to worry when the teen did not return home by Monday evening, and frantically began calling her. She had not told them where she was going that day, although the girl had often slept at friends’ homes without informing her mother.

The family tried calling the girl’s cellphone, but it had been switched off. At about 12.30am on Monday, they received the call from the mystery man.

“Maybe she knew this man and that is why he killed her,” she said.

She said the family was shaken by Tenique’s death because they had all expected to see her on Tuesday morning.

“Instead that morning her body was found,” said Stevens. “It was fortunate that one of the fishermen knew and recognised her and he reported it to police. The police came to tell us at about 9am.”

She said her daughter was half-naked, appeared to have been strangled with a piece of cloth and had her underwear stuffed into her mouth.

Police spokesman, Lieutenant-Colonel Vincent Mdunge, said Tenique’s body was found with bruises on the forehead.

“No arrest has been made,” said Mdunge.

“The motive for the killing is unknown at this stage and a postmortem will be conducted to determine the cause of death, as well as to ascertain whether the deceased was sexually violated or not.”

Last month, Roseanne Naidoo, 16, was found dead behind St Mary’s park, near ML Sultan Primary in Merebank, five days after disappearing.

Wentworth councillor Aubrey Snyman said on Wednesday night that he was very concerned, especially because he felt children were getting caught up in a “big drug problem”.

Snyman said he was organising a march on June 11 to protest against crime levels in Wentworth.

“However, as much as we are doing all we can in the fight against crime, I would also like to urge parents to keep close tabs on their children and not be scared to be firm with them because I find they are scared to confront their children,” he said.

Social networks had also “taken over” the youth in the area, Snyman said.

“All I am saying is that parents must be careful of this social networks addiction because most times we find that it leads our children to these dangerous situations. We have to help our children and be parents.” - Daily News