Abducted girl found, mom arrested
Jonathan Erasmus, Zululand Fever
Durban - The girl who was in the care of her grandmother and was allegedly abducted by her mother outside her school has been found, says a police spokesperson.
Calene Bianca Rutgers (30), who is being charged under the Child Care Act and is currently in custody at the Bellair police station in Durban, allegedly abducted her daughter McKayla (10) from Seaview Primary School on Tuesday.
McKayla had been removed from her mother’s care by social services and placed with her grandmother, Leslie Raynard, after reports that she was a drug addict and prostitute.
Police confirmed that Calene was a prostitute.
Calene apparently left the school in a Corsa with Richards Bay number plates with a man believed to be her boyfriend. The plates are now believed to be fake.
According to KZN police spokesperson TEB Zwane, Calene was arrested at Addington Beach late on Friday afternoon after members of the public recognised her from her photograph on various websites.
The police were alerted and the mother led members of the police to a flat where the child was being held.
Zwane said: “The mother led us to a flat in the Point area where she had left the child.
"McKayla was in the care of another family that have children of their own,” said Zwane.
The police said the child seemed to be fine but would be sent for routine testing.
Zwane said Calene was found without drugs in her possession.
She is to appear in the Durban Magistrate’s Court on Monday.
Sources said it had taken the police more than an hour to persuade the mother to lead them to her child.
A warrant of arrest has not been issued for the boyfriend and neither for the family who had McKayla in their care.
McKayla was taken to the district surgeon, under the care of her aunt, Siobhon Raynard who is a doctor at the Empangeni War Memorial Hospital.
According to her grandmother Leslie, the family was ‘ecstatic’ with the news and ‘drunk' with happiness.
“This week has brought both the saddest and happiest day of my life.
"We would like to thank the people and the police for their support."
Raynard said her church was to hold a special vigil on Saturday for the safe return of McKayla.