WALVIS BAY – A desperate mother whose daughter has been missing for three years has accused the police at Rehoboth of not doing enough to locate her only daughter.
Meide Gabriella van Wyk (62) is of the view that the police have treated her daughter’s case as a runaway, instead of someone that might have been in danger, hence they never been actively searching for her.
Van Wyk narrated that her daughter, Li-Iin Bernadette van Wyk now (32) left their house in Block B on 17 September 2017 at around 09h00 on a Sunday and has not been seen ever since.
“No missing person’s picture or profile about my daughter has been circulated by the police to date.
I was told last month to open a new case as my daughter’s file is missing,” the hopeless Van Wyk told New Era in a telephonic interview from Rehoboth on Monday.
She said the police did update her regarding her only daughter that went missing, leading to her conclusion they have done nothing.
Instead, the police at the central town took offence in 2017 when she travelled to Windhoek; to appeal for help at the police in the capital, one month after her daughter disappeared.
“The Windhoek police contacted their counterparts in Rehoboth and Mariental but nobody was aware of her missing case, even though I was sitting with a case number,” she explained.
Van Wyk who described her slightly build daughter as a very reserved person, who only had a few friends, said Li-Iin was artistic and took art classes in Rehoboth.
In a twist of events, Van Wyk’s sister was recently approached by an art teacher who wanted to know whether Li-Iin was found, the distraught mother narrated.
“He then told my sister about a dodgy person that used to hang around the art studio, every time Li-Iin was at the studio days before her disappearance. He used to chase the person away and he made my daughter scared and uncomfortable,” she said.
The art teacher has since submitted a composite drawing of the dodgy man to the police, which was shown to New Era. However, the mother lamented that the teacher was never questioned in the past for any possible leads.
“This is evidence that they never questioned or looked for my daughter or even visited the places she usually visited before her disappearance. This is so sad and disappointing that people that are supposed to help you failed you. Hopefully, this new development will bring me closer to what happened to her,” she said.
According to Van Wyk, a close friend who was in Mariental a few weeks ago also talked about Li-Iin who is still missing at a workshop she was attending.
“Coincidently, a police officer from Rehoboth that was in the same group heard about my daughter and has since approached the art teacher for any possible leads,” she said.
Van Wyk told New Era that she earlier this month went to the police station to follow up on her daughter’s case, but was informed that the docket is missing.
“They wanted me to register a new missing person’s case but I refused as it would look as if I only reported her missing after three years,” the mother said.
“I knew a breakthrough would come or help would come from somewhere. On Monday, I received a call from a reporter enquiring about my daughter.
You are the second one who called me today about my daughter and I am happy at least her disappearance also bothers you and you can broadcast it to the whole country and help to look for my daughter,” a relieved Van Wyk said. “I am in anguish it is only the grace of God that carried me through the three years.”
Police crime investigations coordinator in Hardap region, Deputy Commissioner Eric Clay on Monday confirmed Li-Iin’s case while admitting to the disappearance of the docket.
“We are trying to figure out what happened to the case file. We will only know what was done so far if we locate the file. In the meantime, I have suggested that they contact the mother and see what information we have instead of waiting for the file to be located,” Clay said. –email@example.com