Age progression of five-year-old Florencia Langehoven renews hope in 30 year old kidnapping case

Florencia Langehoven’s family at the candlelight vigil earlier this week. Image: Supplied

Florencia Langehoven’s family at the candlelight vigil earlier this week. Image: Supplied

Published Dec 12, 2023


Cape Town - A family is hoping they will receive the Christmas present they've been wishing for, for the past three decades – the return of their loved one who was kidnapped at the age of 5 years.

Florencia Langenhoven was taken from outside her home in Connaught Estate, Elsies River and sold by her neighbour in 1993.

Aubrey Hendricks, admitted he had kidnapped her. He said he had sold Florencia to a Grabouw man, known to him only as Sipho.

He was convicted of kidnapping and was sentenced to 10 years' imprisonment.

This week, an expert in age progression helped Track n Trace create an image that showed how Florencia would look at age 35.

Photographs of her parents, siblings and nieces and nephews were used, particularly focusing on their facial expressions and features.

Florencia's sister, Leazille Davids, 39, who is the family's representative, said they remained positive.

“We believe she can be found. “We just pray and trust in God that someone will come forward with information.

“My mother feels that she is not dead; she does not get that feeling. She remains hopeful and positive that she is still alive.”

On Tuesday, Florencia's parents and siblings, members of Track n Trace and the community held a candlelight vigil outside her home in Connaught Estate.

Age progression of Florencia Langehoven when she disappeared and an image using age progression as a 35-year-old woman. supplied pic

Davids told Weekend Argus that their mother, Cathy, had hoped Hendricks would reveal what had happened to her but he never had.

Hendricks had died, taking his secret to the grave.

“Every year when it is her birthday on September 18th, we celebrate it by having a cake and braaing,” said Davids.

“My mother was pregnant with our baby brother when she disappeared and didn't know at the time. He did not get to meet Florencia.”

Davids said the police had not been to their residence in years. The family were appalled that the case has become an unsolved crime.

“There used to be a Detective Kiewitz and Jansen on the case.

“I was nine-years-old when she went missing but we remember it like it was yesterday. We know we are not looking for a five-year-old anymore but a 35-year-old.”

Chaz Thomas, of Track n Trace, confirmed they were working with the family to pursue any leads and had posted the age progression photograph of Florencia on its website in the hope that there could be a fresh lead.

Age progression of Florencia Langehoven. supplied pic.

Claudine Coleridge, of the Cape Coloured Congress, was also present at the vigil and has been supporting the family.

“Florencia's parents are still raw inside. When your child dies, you, as a parent, never get over that hurt but at least there is closure,” she said.

“You know your child is in a cemetery, but when your child goes missing and it is 30 years later, there is no closure.

“A man was apparently convicted and he died and refused to say where she was. He died with his secret.”

Police spokesperson, Sergeant Wesley Twigg said the SAPS was waiting for the relevant office to respond to queries about what had happened to the investigation.