Miguel Louw and my butcher son: Suspect’s dad speaks as child’s body found near his home
The vanishing of 9-year-old Miguel Louw has haunted the dreams of Sheik Ebrahim Shah‚ the man whose son is the police’s prime suspect in the disappearance of the missing schoolboy.
Police and security personnel discovered the badly decomposed body of a boy - thought to be Miguel - in a ravine in Phoenix‚ just paces from Shah’s home, on Monday afternoon.
And while Shah’s son‚ 43-year-old Mohammed Ebrahim‚ who worked as a butcher, sits in a cell while awaiting trial‚ his family wait in fear for the backlash from the community that surrounds them.
“I lie awake at night because all I have been thinking about is this baby [Miguel]. I have my own grandson who is 9 years old and if something like this happened to him I can’t imagine how I would feel‚” he said.
He was speaking to TimesLIVE as police examined the grim crime scene less than 100m from the home.
In a thicket they had found the body of a boy matching Miguel’s description. The body was clad in a school uniform‚ adding purchase to the notion that Miguel’s body had been found some six weeks after he vanished.
“I am disheartened and I am hurt... I’m so hurt. We have been reading about what happened down there and‚ to be honest with you‚ I feel like I am not the same person I was before this‚” the 77-year-old said.
“I hope that if this is Miguel’s body, his family will have some closure. As for my family‚ we are not doing well.”
Shah said that his family had faced scorn and shame‚ and were harassed by people who had come to his home looking for his son.
Ebrahim‚ the only suspect linked to the kidnapping of Miguel on July 17‚ was granted bail of R2‚500 in the Durban Magistrate’s Court last week. But he has not yet raised bail.
“My son is inside [jail] still; he couldn’t pay money to get out. We have people coming here all week looking for my son. We live in fear‚” the elderly man said.
Ebrahim was arrested three days after Miguel was last seen.
When he was detained‚ Ebrahim was found in possession of Miguel’s original birth certificate and Miguel’s mother’s identity document.
CCTV footage showed Miguel at a KFC with Ebrahim‚ an acquaintance of the family for about two weeks‚ on the day of his disappearance.
Sources confirmed that Ebrahim was never released, having been unable to raise money for his bail.
A body believed to be of missing nine-year-old Miguel Louw was found on Monday, September 3 2018. This is what we know so far about the case.