The Free State teenager who went missing on Monday 24 June has still not been found.
Nikita Naudé (15) is a Grade 9 pupil at Kroonstad High School and was last seen in the early hours of Monday morning.
Tanya Fourie, her aunt, says the family hasn’t stopped trying to contact her since her disappearance – but Nikita’s phone remains switched off.
“Nikita’s phone is [usually] always on – you know what teenagers are like with their phones,” Tanya told YOU on Friday.
A missing person’s case have been opened and police are investigating. It’s believed Nikita left with an older man.
Captain Stephen Thakeng, police spokesman, says police are looking for Martinus “Tinus” Wynand Swanepoel, believed to be in his late thirties or early forties, in relation to Nikita’s disappearance.
Police suspect Tinus might be in Bloemfontein or on his way there.
Earlier this week, Tanya told YOU that Nikita was seen getting out of a stranger’s car on Sunday. Nikita had been visiting her grandparents in Steynsrus in the Free State when she disappeared.
“My mom [Nikita’s grandmother] says Nikita had been spending a lot of time on her phone before she disappeared,” Tanya says. “On Sunday afternoon she [Nikita] said [to her grandmother] she was going to sit in the sun outside. When my mom went looking for her, she couldn’t immediately find her.
“[Then] Nikita was seen getting out of a white hatchback Opel Corsa that was parked across the road,” Tanya says. She told her grandmother she’d been giving directions to the man in the car,” says the distraught aunt.
“My mom just said, ‘Sussie, you know you don’t just get into a car with strangers – you explain at the window.’ She thought that was the end of that. But on Monday morning at 3am when my dad took their little dog out, Nikita was gone,” Tanya tells us.
Tanya says Nikita’s mother, Ulandi, is struggling to cope with her daughter’s disappearance.
“The uncertainty drives you crazy. Everyone’s on edge,” Tanya adds. “But I repeat: Nikita is no rebel.”
She believes her niece wants to come home. “Maybe she wants to contact us but doesn’t know how. She didn’t have a disagreement with anyone and she didn’t leave home angry,” Tanya says.
“Kita, come home. We miss you and love you.”
Police are urging anyone with information that could lead to Nikita’s whereabouts to contact Warrant Officer Karen Dennis on 056 216 5741.