- Missing Children South Africa says a child goes missing in South Africa every five hours.
- The first 24 hours in a missing persons case are crucial.
- Police say a case will never be closed until a body or the person is found.
A Cape Town family remains hopeful that their missing son will one day be found.
Nine-year-old Matthew Ohlsson disappeared from outside his Mitchells Plain home on 24 March 1997.
In the years that followed, a spate of other children went missing.
The Ohlsson family started the Concerned Parents of Missing Children in 1999 to help other families like themselves.
Michelle Ohlsson says the organisation ran successfully for about 10 years but funds eventually dried up.
"You know we had four hundred cases and we solved like three hundred and something. And then it was like, when is it my turn, Lord? What am I doing wrong? Why can't I get my child? And the more we handled cases, we saw the different ways children disappeared".
Missing Children South Africa's Bianca van Aswegen believes the number of children going missing is increasing, and she says human trafficking is also rife.
She says there is a misconception that families must wait 48 hours before reporting a child missing because this is not true.
The first 24 hours are crucial.
Despite it all, Michelle Ohlsson still has hope that Matthew will be found.
"I will never stop looking, I will never stop hoping and I will never stop believing that I will see him one day".
Anyone who has information on the disappearance of Matthew Ohlsson can contact investigating officer Lieutenant Colonel Daliwonga Saki on 082 559 4631.
If you missed episode one or two in this three-part series, you can access them below: