Local family still in the dark about missing mom of 3

2017-09-28 14:31
Arlene Pillay.

Arlene Pillay. (Supplied)

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Arlene Vanessa Pillay (pictured) left her Northdale family home to take her daughter’s clothes to a relative’s house on a chilly July afternoon, and was never seen again.

Now, two months later, her family are still suffering without closure, and fear the worst.

Pillay (34), a mother of three daughters aged seven, five and two, disappeared on July 24.

She had gone to a relative’s house, where her daughter was staying.

And despite family since then receiving two SMSes from an unfamiliar number claiming to be from Pillay saying she “just needed time to sort my life out”, they refuse to accept that she would willingly leave behind her life and her three young daughters.

A family member, who spoke to The Witness on condition of they were unnamed, said the family had serious doubts that Pillay — who does not even have a bank account — would just run away.

“Running away isn’t like her. Also, all her things are still at home, so she would have gone with only the clothes she was wearing,” she said.

The family member said only one person had come forward claiming to have seen Pillay since she went missing, but that person had backtracked on their statement to police.

“I am honestly clueless right now. If something bad happened we would have heard by now, like if she was dead a body would have been found. I’ve been literally everywhere she could be and haven’t found anything.

“It’s been two months and we don’t know anything.”

The family member said in August she received an SMS from someone claiming to be Pillay. It said she would “come back when I’m ready. Tell [my mother] I’m sorry.”

Another sent a few weeks ago from a different number, expressed anger at an article in a community paper on Pillay’s disappearance.

The family member said: “I found those messages strange; I don’t believe they’re from [Pillay] because she doesn’t text like that and won’t speak that way to me.”

The family member said they had tried to call the number the SMS came from and found they could not get through. They added that the WhatsApp profile of one of the numbers had a picture of a woman who was not Pillay.

Police told the family that they had raided the home and taken DNA samples from the car of a man known to Pillay.

Police are also in the process of trying to track down who sent those SMSes, the family said.

The family member said: “From a family’s point of view, we just want closure. If she’s dead, if she ran away, if she eloped or something, we want to know. But for us it’s hard to believe she’d leave three beautiful kids and just go away.”

The family member said that Pillay’s mother had fallen ill a few weeks ago because of the stress of the situation. “But you have to take each day as it comes and hope,” the emotional family member said.

Pillay was described as a quiet, homely person. She did not work, apart from a few part time jobs.

The family has appealed to anyone with information to come forward.

Police spokesperson Captain Gay Ebrahim did not respond to a query sent on Tuesday.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg

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