Kidnapped girl still missing

2004-07-11 11:50

Johannesburg - Johannesburg police were on Sunday continuing their investigation into the kidnapping of 21-year-old Leigh Matthews from Bond University in Sandton.

Superintendent Chris Wilken said no developments had occurred since a media briefing on Saturday night.

"The serious and violent crime unit is continuing their the investigation."

Matthews' kidnappers demanded ransom money from her parents. Wilken said Matthews' family met the suspects' demands, but had since had no contact with them or their daughter.

Wilken said a task team had been appointed to investigate the kidnapping and they would work around the clock.

"The kidnapper was adamant that police should not be involved, but this morning when commitments were not met, we felt that further help was needed," her father, Rob Matthews, told journalists on Saturday.

"As a parent when the time runs out you cannot sit still and wait any more, Please. Please give her back."

When no breakthrough was made by late Saturday, the family asked police to involve the community through the media to get their daughter back.

Blue jeans, black jacket

She was last seen dressed in blue jeans, a brown-reddish polo neck top and a black leather jacket.

Matthews said he talked to the kidnapper throughout Friday afternoon and even once had a chance to speak to his daughter.

"She told me to follow the instructions not to involve the police and that she was not hurt."

Matthews, an accountant, and his family live in Fourways. He said he had no idea why his child had been targeted.

"Maybe she was in the wrong place at the wrong time, I don't know."

Matthews, who turned 21 on Saturday, was studying for a BCom Finance degree.

Her father said they did not know how the kidnapping happened, or how many people were involved. Leigh's car was found not far from the college.

Gabriel Hall, the investigating officer, told journalists on Saturday they still hoped for a "basic safe return" of Leigh.