Courtney Pieters, 3

Cape Town - Today slain Courtney Pieters would have celebrated her crown birthday. 

The toddler who was found atop a rubbish heap in Bofors Circle, Epping Industria would have celebrated her fourth birthday today. 

Speaking briefly to media earlier, her mother Juanita Pieters said: "It's not a nice feeling at all. This morning I just lay and thought about her. We really miss her so much. But through God's will everything is possible".

Pieters confirmed a memorial service will be held at the family home later on Monday evening to commemorate the short life Courtney lived.

Courtney went missing on May 4 from her Pluto Street home in Salberau. An intense nine-day search ensued before she was found dumped in the industrial area.

The man arrested for her rape and murder, Mortimer Saunders, was a tenant in the family home for three years and was a childhood friend of Courtney’s father.

At his last court appearance, the State confirmed they intend to take the matter to the Western Cape High Court.

Saunders will be back in the dock on October and remains in custody.

Cape Times