Prayers in vain as missing woman’s body is found

2014-03-20 00:00

FRIENDS and family of Hillcrest woman Gillian Westman prayed that she would return home safely after she went missing on Tuesday last week.

But those prayers were in vain as Westman’s badly decomposed body was found yesterday in sugar cane fields in Cliffdale.

Westman’s ex mother-in-law, Annette Westman, confirmed that her former daughter-in-law’s body was found yesterday morning.

According to the Waterfall Crime Watch, Westman’s car was found with her body inside and no foul play was expected.

Annette said the family was still distressed and would not be drawn to say much.

“Her children have just been told and they are distraught and vulnerable,” she told The Witness.

Westman’s disappearance was widely circulated on social media, including a pamphlet with a photograph of her from the Pink Ladies action group. The Pink Ladies is a group that disseminates information about missing people.

Westman’s family raised the alarm when she failed to return from a meeting after office hours.

At the time of her disappearance, Westman had been driving her Hyundai and was dressed in black clothing.

“If anyone has info on the whereabouts of my best friend, Gillian, please get in contact with me asap,” Megan Patricia Privett wrote on Facebook.

On Tuesday, another life-long friend, Tascha Jannsen Keet, said on Facebook: “Day 6!! Gill is still missing, please share, and pray for her protection and safe return. Also keeping her precious girls in our prayers”.

Family and friends kept a constant vigil and prayed as the days went by.

Last month, Westman wrote on her daughter’s Facebook page: “Hello! Just checking in to tell you I am still alive....you were right! I will outlive you all :) Lots of love and angel blessings xxx”.

Annette described Westman as a “very warm person who adored her two daughters”.

“But she had a troubled life. If she could help you, she’d help,” she told The Witness.

Westman leaves behind two daughters, aged 17 and 19.

Annette said the family was trying to cope with their loss.

“It has been a tense week,” she added.

Police spokesperson Captain Thulani Zwane said an inquest docket has been opened for investigation by Hillcrest police. He said the circumstances surrounding the incident are being investigated.

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