Tasneem dos Santos, the aunt of a Sydenham boy who went missing last month, cries at the scene where the body of a young boy was found in a field in Phoenix yesterday.
Durban - For the family of 10-year-old Miguel Louw, who has been missing for more than a month, identifying the remains of a body found in bush in Phoenix on Monday is a task they dread.

They were to have gone to the mortuary today.

“Since that body was found, we have been constantly praying that it isn’t him,” Miguel’s aunt, Tasnem dos Santos, told POST on Tuesday, sobbing at the thought that she could be wrong.

“My family is not taking anything well. Miguel’s parents have just got back home from the doctor - they are on medication. His older sister is confused, unsure what to believe.”

Dos Santos pleaded for people to “stop spreading rumours”, saying the family have been trying to remain positive.

“At this point we don’t know who the decomposed body is. People are saying it is Miguel, and we have people phoning to ask us of it is true. It’s not nice getting people asking: ‘Is your child dead?’”

Police have yet to confirm the identity of the body.

Dos Santos said she was praying that the results would be revealed soon.

“I pray they hurry up with the results. This justice system seems so weak. We’re asking questions and get told we will only find out after the autopsy.”

On Monday a body believed to be that of a child’s was found by a member of the police K9 unit on Longbury Drive in Phoenix, while his sniffer dog was chasing a robbery suspect and was distracted by the scent.

Romano Naidoo, the KZN VIP security officer who was with the K9 policeman at the time, said it was “the worst thing” he had seen in his 13-year career.

The body was found less than 100m away from where the suspect in the boy’s disappearance, Mohamed Vahed Ebrahim, 43, lives.

Local politician Patrick Pillay, leader of the Democratic Liberal Congress, also lives nearby.

“I was shocked to learn that the child’s body was found in a shallow grave near my house,” Pillay said. “The anger of the community could be felt in the air. Hundreds of people with teary eyes lined the streets for hours on Monday waiting for the official news confirming whether the body is that of Miguel Louw.”

Miguel, a Rippon Road School pupil, has been missing since July 17.

MF councillor Jonathan Annipan said families could not be expected to wait lengthy periods before getting closure on matters like this.