Body of Free State toddler found in field

Henry

The lifeless body of a missing Free State toddler was found on Thursday in a field near the farm road between Kareelaagte and Deelpan in Dewetsdorp.

Search teams have been searching relentlessly for little Reitumetse Madibeng since Saturday after her 20-year-old aunt and her 19-year-old friend apparently left the child under a tree because she was allegedly “too tired to walk any further”.

The aunt and her friend have since been charged with child neglect and are still in custody. The police are now also investigating a case of murder.

Lt. Col. Thabo Covane, police spokesperson, says the toddler’s body was found at around 13:25 when search teams were looking for her in the area of ​​the Daspoort road. They also combed ponds, quarries and fields.

According to Covane, Reitumetse and her two-year-old sister were walking with the two women from Kanana to the Hannierust farm in the vicinity of the R702 road on Saturday when Reitumetse apparently started complaining and sat down under a tree.

The women allegedly left her under this tree beside the road in the direction of Daspoort. They informed the child’s mother that she was too tired to walk further and that they left her there. Reitumetse’s mother immediately notified the police and this set in motion the four-day search.

It is unclear what led to little Reitumetse’s death.

The two women who were arrested will appear in the Dewetsdorp Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday where they are expected to apply for bail.