Search group formed after teen's murder

2017-03-28 06:02
Rene Roman (13) was found dead last week, a few houses away from her home.

Rene Roman (13) was found dead last week, a few houses away from her home.

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Cape Town - Following the murder of Rene Roman (13) from Lavender Hill, community members say her death will not be in vain as they are establishing the Rene Roman search and rescue group.

Roman went missing on Friday 10 March and was found almost two weeks later close to her home.

Steenberg police spokesperson Warrant Officer John Bartlett says police officers were called to a bungalow, where there was a strong-smelling stench, at the back of a house in St Agatha Street on Human Rights Day. “When the members opened the bungalow they found a partially decomposed body of a female covered with a carpet. Her hands and feet were tied and she was half naked. A case of murder was opened for investigation.”

Later that day a 50-year-old man was arrested for Roman’s murder. He made his first court appearance in Wynberg Magistrate’s Court last Thursday. The case was postponed to Tuesday 4 April.

Roman’s memorial service will be held in the Levana Primary School hall on Thursday at 19:00. Her funeral will be held at the New Apostolic Church in Hillary Close on Saturday at 09:00.

Twofold purpose

Lucinda Evans, founder of the Philisa Abafazi Bethu women and children’s project, says it is important that something good comes out of the tragedy and they don’t want to see this happen again. The newly established search and rescue group will have a twofold purpose, says Evans.

“The golden hour is when the parents report that a child is missing. The team will be activated to search immediately. We know the police stations don’t have the resources available immediately and with cases like these we can’t wait 24 hours.

“Also the rescue team will be intervening where children are at unsavoury houses. They will go in there and fetch those children and get help for them and also reunite them with their families,” she says.

Evans is calling on everyone who is passionate about child protection to join the group. “For now we will start in Lavender Hill, Seawinds and surrounding areas. As soon as we are up and running we will go help in other areas as well. We want to be able to act quickly when children go missing and support parents with a lot of services,” she says.

The group’s first meeting will be help at Levana Primary School on Monday at 10:00 and anyone who wants to join is welcome.

- For more information on the Rene Roman search and rescue group call Lucinda Evans on 021 802 4030.

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