The year is 1988 and a dark cloud of fear hangs over South Africa. Parents fearing for their children’s safety. A predator is on the loose, and he is preying on innocent children.
Gert van Rooyen is a name synonymous with evil. During the years 1988 and 1989, van Rooyen and his girlfriend, Joey Haarhoff, are believed to be responsible for the abduction, sexual assault and murder of several missing girls across Eastern South Africa. The girls aged between nine and 16-years-old.
The names of the missing girls spread through the media across the country, during the frantic search to find them.
- Tracey-Lee Scott-Crossley, 14-years-old.
- Fiona Harvey, 12-years-old.
- Joan Horn, 12-years-old.
- Jane Delport, 16-years-old.
- Odette Boucher, 11-years-old.
These are just some of the girls whose disappearances and deaths are linked to van Rooyen and Haarhoff.
When van Rooyen realised his time was up and police were closing in on him and Haarhoff, he shot Haarhoff dead, shortly before killing himself.
Now, three decades later, what is happening in the case? Are police any closer to finding any of the missing girls?
Recently, it was thought that Fiona Harvey had been found. This follows a man from the Eastern Cape contacting her family and asking for a DNA test. This was to see if the DNA of a woman he claimed to be Harvey actually matched her DNA.
The man went as far as to send photos of the woman to the Harvey family, who apparently denied it was Fiona.
Harvey went missing in December 1988 when she was just 12-years-old.
Over the past few weeks, the original investigating officer, Don Chandler, has been working full-time on the case. As he is retired, his investigations are done in his personal capacity, as he tries to put the pieces of information and evidence together.
Chandler told The Witness, the man brought the woman to the police. At the time, she allegedly seemed confused and did not seem to know who or where she was.
However, it seems the police have already done DNA tests on the woman. Just over a year ago, she was brought to the police for the very same reason.
Allegedly, Chandler recently met other victims’ families and was trying to locate those who would have been in Van Rooyen’s circle when the kidnappings took place.
With another seeming dead end for now, will the missing girls ever be found?
Early in January, a petition was set up by a woman by the name of Rina Moolman. The petition is addressed to South African Minister of Police, Bheki Cele, demanding the case be officially reopened to find the girls.
The petition can be found here: Solving the Gert van Rooyen\Joey Haarhoff missing children case
What are your thoughts on the matter? Do you think the missing girls will ever be found? Or do you think they are lost forever? Share your thoughts with us in the comment section below.