My missing sister calls me in my dreams

By admin
23 April 2010

At first there was only self-reproach but over the years it became a burning obsession. And it’s the recurring dreams of her missing sister in the clutches of sex offender Gert van Rooyen that are unbearable.

In her dreams Natasha Smuts (35) hears her sister, Odette, two years her junior, calling out, “Please, someone, please come and get me. Please save me.”

It has been 21 years since Odette Boucher (12), Tracey-Lee Scott Crossley (13), Fiona Harvey (11), Joan Horn (13), Anne-Marie Wapenaar (12) and Yolanda Wessels (12) disappeared.

It’s believed they were abducted in 1989 by paedophile Gert van Rooyen and his mistress, Joey Haarhoff. With the police hot on their heels Van Rooyen shot Joey and turned the gun on himself.

Natasha can’t put the tragedy behind her because she has serious diabetes, which she developed in the months after her sister’s disappearance and is a constant reminder of her. She undergoes dialysis three times a week and urgently needs a kidney transplant.

She believes the shock of Odette’s disappearance caused the diabetes. Some experts agree that while trauma isn’t a direct cause of the disease it can be sparked by it because the body’s insulin requirements increase with trauma.

People should take better care of their kids, Natasha warns. She always keeps a watchful eye on her own young sons. She’s unemployed and in the throes of a divorce but says she’ll never stop searching for Odette. “Sometimes I think perhaps she’s still out there and doesn’t know who she is,” she says.

* This week (YOU, 29 April 2010) Natasha speaks exclusively to YOU of the anguish of living in the shadow of Odette’s disappearance.

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