Police search for suspects after body of missing 8-year-old girl found in water pipeline

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The body of a child was found in water pipe.
The body of a child was found in water pipe.
Darren Stewart, Gallo Images via Getty
  • Eastern Cape police are searching for suspects in their investigation into the murder of an 8-year-old.
  • The girl's body was found in a non-operational water pipeline.
  • An investigation in an unrelated case led police to the body.

Eastern Cape police are searching for suspects in their investigation into the murder of an 8-year-old girl who was found in a non-operational water pipeline in Hofmeyr.

Zinathi Ntuzakhe was reported missing in December 2020 after she went to buy sweets.

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The Hofmeyr police station took over the investigation and, according to police spokesperson Captain Lariane Jonker, Ntuzakhe's body was discovered during investigations into another case.

In April, Hofmeyr police received information about a woman who was trapped in a pipeline.

"On further investigation, a 23-year-old woman was freed from the water supply pipeline and reported that she [had been] raped and thrown into the water supply pipeline by a known suspect," Jonker said.

A case of attempted murder and rape was opened, and the police arrested a 20-year-old man shortly afterward in connection with the reported incident.

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During his appearance in court, the prosecutor asked that an investigation be undertaken to establish the depth of the water supply pipeline.

It was during this investigation in July that Ntuzakhe's remains were found, Jonker said.

The remains were sent for forensic pathology tests.

"A forensic pathology report received from Pretoria confirmed that the human remains found was positively linked to the DNA obtained from the biological mother," Jonker added.

"The initial missing person's inquiry has been changed to murder and is being investigated by the Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences Unit in Cradock."

Anyone who has further information is urged to contact the investigating officer, Detective Sergeant Qhagana, on 082 319 8362.

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