Often when we watch true crime documentaries, and as tragic as each episode is, they seem far away. In another town, another city, another continent.

What happens when the crime hits closer to home? When “the story” is based on someone you know and love? 

There are ten unsolved, missing children’s cases in Mitchell’s Plain alone and South Africa does not have a dedicated cold case task force team. So when an investigation runs dry, that is how it sits until a new sighting or lead turns up. 

In October 2012, Kauther Bobbs, who was five years old when she disappeared, went to play at the park near her house in Tafelsig as she did many times before. When her mother went looking for her hours later, she had vanished without a trace. It has been nine years, and the case was officially closed in 2019 due to a lack of evidence.

During 2012 and 2019, there have been rumours, false sightings, including suspicion placed on her family, but Kauther is still missing. There has been absolutely no closure for those around her. 

When someone you know goes “missing,” and the case remains unsolved, you find yourself holding onto hope even years later. You are hoping that one day they will return home. That you can be reunited, but deep down, you know the outcome might not be a reunion. 

Years pass, and you think about them, wondering if they are safe and looked after, hoping that they just wandered off and were found by someone. You hope that someone nice is looking after them, but your mind also wanders the worst-case scenarios. 

Our Country is in dire need of a dedicated cold case team of detectives, who will be resolute in getting the families of those who are missing, the answers they so badly deserve.  

It is heartbreaking to hear that your case is closed, and then families are met with silence while they grieve the loss of someone who might still be living.