Family ‘tortured’ as teen still missing

Rene-Tracey Roman went missing on Friday March 10.

There is a R15 000 reward for any information leading to the safe return of Rene-Tracey Roman, 13, who went missing on Friday March 10.

The Lavender Hill teenager’s family still have hope that she is alive and they have pleaded with whomever has her to bring her home.

Rene-Tracey’s mom, Chrissandre Jacobs, last saw her daughter on Friday March 10 when she came home from school.

“I asked her to walk with a neighbour of ours to fetch her baby sister at a creche nearby,” said Ms Jacobs

At about 2.10 pm, the neighbour said Rene-Tracey hadn’t arrived to walk with her to the creche as arranged. That’s when the family started looking for her.

A friend of Rene-Tracey’s said she had seen her at about 1.45pm on her way to buy a packet of chips at a shop down the road. She, however, never made it to the shop.

The child’s grandmother, Maureen de Villiers, said there had been rumours about bodies being found in bushes behind Lavender Hill.

“Every time we hear something like that we run around frantically, but it always turns out to be false information. Our hearts are breaking, The rumours are making the situation worse when we are trying to stay positive as a family.”

Ms De Villiers believes her eldest granddaughter will come home.

“I believe in God, and I believe that my child is coming back. I also had a dreams where Rene is screaming for help. She must be so scared. I ask the people who took our child to please bring her back to us. We won’t ask any questions. We just want her back at home where she belongs,” said the emotional grandmother.

“We haven’t eaten, and we haven’t been able to sleep – it is torture,” said Ms De Villiers.

Steenberg Community Police Forum chairwoman Lucinda Evans contributed R10 000 to the R15 000 reward. Ms Evans, who is also the founder of Philisa Abafzi Bethu, said she hoped the reward would lead to Rene-Tracey’s safe return.

“As a child activist, this case has affected me personally, and that is part of the reason why I put up the money for the reward. I plead that anyone with accurate information about Rene’s whereabouts should please come forward. And if that information leads us finding her, then the money will be made available immediately.”

Ms Evans also warned against spreading false rumours that led the community and police on a “wild goose chase”.

The family thanked everyone who had supported them and been involved in the searches for Rene-Tracey.

Steenberg police spokesman Warrant Officer John Bartlett said an intensive search had been launched for the girl.

“Since the girl went missing, the community of Lavender Hill, in collaboration with police, have been frantically searching for her. The search was conducted at the surrounding houses and even in the bush area at the back of Lavender Hill. All information that was received was followed up but without any success. The search continues.”

Rene-Tracey was last seen wearing black tights, a pink sleeveless top and slip-on sandals. She is slender and 1.5m tall with green eyes and long black hair.

Anyone with information can contact Sergeant Osborne Anthony of Steenberg police at 021 702 9000/27 or the Pink Ladies at 072 214 7439 / 082 441 9096.