Chantell "China" Matthyssen lived with her family in their Kuils River home. The single mother knew that her own mother Carol would support her through thick and thin. The 21-year-old also knew that she would need to get a job to help care for her three-year-old son and that her family would care for him while she was away at work.
When a family friend called Chantell with a job offer at a farm in Wellington, the young mom was eager to grab the opportunity. On Saturday, June 23, she left her young son in her mother's care and took the train to Wellington to meet up with the family friend.
Nobody could know that that would be the last time her family would see the leggy brunette with the big smile alive.
Chantell kept in contact with her mother for the duration of the trip. They communicated via text messages right until the time Chantell arrived at the home of the man who had offered her the job. At that point, she told her mother that her phone's battery was flat but that she could be contacted on the "uncle's" cellphone.
Despite learning that the man's wife was not home, Carol was initially not too concerned as they had known him for some time. He was someone they liked and trusted, so their beloved daughter would be safe with him.
Days passed and Carol still could not reach Chantell by phone. By the Tuesday Carol and her husband were frantic. They drove to Wellington where they were unable to get a straight answer out of the man who had offered their daughter a job. At their wit's end, the couple went to the police.
Chantell's cellphone, handbag and some of the clothes she had been wearing were found inside the man's house. Chantell, however, had vanished without a trace. The family friend fled the scene.
When police dug up the ground around the man's Wendy House they discovered Chantell's partially clad body in a shallow grave. She had been strangled. Two other women's bodies were also found nearby. The family friend has since been arrested and charged with Chantell's murder.
While the exact circumstances of Chantell's death are not yet known, her devastated family have to come to terms with spending the rest of their lives without her. Her parents have to raise her young son alone.
Chantell will never get to celebrate another Women's Month, birthday or Christmas. She won't see her little boy start school or fall in love for the first time. Chantell will never have the opportunity to see the dreams she had for herself fullfilled.
For Chantell's sake and the sake of women everywhere, if you know somebody who has committed an act of violence against a woman Don't Look Away.
If you know a young woman's life is in danger, Don't Look Away.
If you are able to help prevent another tragedy, Don't Look Away.
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