Body of child found in Durban taken for forensic testing

03 September 2018 - 21:40 By Jeff Wicks
Police cordon off an area of bush in Phoenix, north of Durban, after the body of a child - believed to be that of missing schoolboy Miguel Louw - was discovered on Monday afternoon.
Police cordon off an area of bush in Phoenix, north of Durban, after the body of a child - believed to be that of missing schoolboy Miguel Louw - was discovered on Monday afternoon.
Image: Jeff Wicks

Forensic detectives will use DNA testing to conclusively identify the remains of a body found in a ravine in Phoenix, Durban, on Monday as that of missing schoolboy Miguel Louw.

While police have been tentative to link the discovery of the body conclusively to Miguel, KZN SAPS spokeswoman Colonel Thembeka Mbhele said there was a strong possibility that the body from the thicket was the missing Sydenham boy.

The 9-year-old was last seen near the Rippon Road Primary School in Sydenham in the company of Mohammed Ebrahim, an acquaintance of his mother.

“Police from Phoenix were working in this area and were following information relating to another case. They called for assistance of the dog handler and they went into the bushes and the dog lead them to the body,” Mbhele said.

Sources close to the investigation, who spoke to TimesLIVE on condition on anonymity, revealed that the body had been found with a school jacket akin to that worn by Miguel on the day that he disappeared.

They said that they would work with the understanding that the body was that of the missing boy - and would now be tasked with gathering evidence to take to trial.

Ebrahim, the police’s only suspect, remains behind bars despite being remitted on bail - unable to raise the R2,500 that would have secured his liberty.

When he was detained three days after Miguel went missing‚ he was found in possession of the boy’s original birth certificate and Miguel’s mother’s identity document.

At Ebrahim’s bail hearing last week, Magistrate Mahomed Motala said that considering the evidence before him a conviction was near impossible.

“I might as well give you a prediction now. The finding is going to be not guilty given what is placed before me,” he said.

The state will still be hard pressed to secure evidence that is beyond circumstantial in their pursuit of Ebrahim.

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