A 36-year-old man and his 16-year old teenage employee have been arrested in connection to the death of a 9-year-old girl who had been reported missing.

The child’s body was found in the teenager’s bedroom. It had stab wounds and covered in plastic. The man’s wife was also arrested for having been an accomplice.

Brigadier Mathapelo Peters, Gauteng Police spokeswoman said on Thursday that the child had been sent to a nearby shop on Tuesday morning but did not return home.

She said “According to the mother of the deceased, she had sent her nine-year-old daughter to a nearby tuckshop at around 7am and that was the last time the child was seen”.

“The child was however, only reported missing at Eden Park SAPS around 2pm and police immediately activated a multi-disciplinary search party and together with some community members, started searching for the child.”

Police also interviewed the 16-year old assistant at the tuckshop that the child was sent to. However, could not provide “satisfactory answers” on being quizzed about her whereabouts.

Peters said the search was then extended to the teenager’s room where the body of the nine-year-old girl was found with a stab wound to the upper body, wrapped in plastic.

She also said “The minor suspect and the 36-year old tuckshop owner were subsequently both arrested and it was found that the latter suspect was in possession of a fraudulent RSA identity document”.

The community also assaulted the 27-year-old wife of the tuckshop owner and injured her following her husband’s arrest. Police were able to rescue her.

“Further investigation into this case saw police also arrest the injured woman as an accomplice and she remains in hospital under police guard. The two male suspects are expected to appear in the Palm Ridge magistrate court today (Thursday), with the third suspect, the woman, appearing in absentia.”

Police have cautioned the community against meting out mob justice on suspected perpetrators of crime.

The three have been charged with kidnapping, murder, and contravention of the Immigration Act.

Peters again reminded community members that “there is absolutely no waiting period” to report a missing person.

She added that the SAPS will give priority attention to cases where women, children and other vulnerable people are victims.