Blood not Joshlin’s: DNA test on clothes in field not a match

Joshlin Smith is still missing. Picture: Supplied

Joshlin Smith is still missing. Picture: Supplied

Published Apr 8, 2024


With the search for Joshlin Smith extending beyond South African borders, police confirmed that the bloody clothing that was found in a in Saldanha Bay field did not bear the DNA of the missing six-year-old.

Today marks 42 days since the little girl was reported missing.

Police Minister Bheki Cele said there were no positive leads to finding the girl even though four people are behind bars, including her own mother Racquel “Kelly” Smith.

Weeks after her disappearance, the police found bloody clothes thought to be Joshlin’s, but Cele confirmed in a TV interview that the DNA samples tested negative.

“Unfortunately the DNA on the pieces of clothes that were found didn’t indicate that those clothes belong to Joshlin. When it came back from the laboratory it came back negative,” he said.

Collect: Cops found bloody clothing in Saldanha Bay veldjie. Picture screen grabbed from tiktok video

He added that the search for the Grade 1 learner from Diazville Primary School has been extended beyond South Africa’s borders as far as the United Kingdom.

“The police have been working with their sister organisation, we have expanded the net, I know that more than a week ago, a ship was searched in London as there was information that she could have been in that one, it took about two and a half days to search the ship,” Cele said.

“She could not be found there and the net has extended beyond the borders of South Africa. The investigation is continuing in Saldanha Bay,” he said.

“I would like to thank the community of Saldanha Bay for standing united, when I visited the area, everyone agreed that the child must be found. Four suspects have been arrested but they have not given us where the child is.”

Police Minister Bheki Cele. File Picture

On March 5, police arrested Smith, her boyfriend Jacquen Appollis, as well as Steveno van Rhyn and Phumza Sigaqa for human trafficking and kidnapping.

According to Kelly, she left her sick daughter in the care of Appollis on February 19, and when she returned home from work, Joshlin was gone.

She went to report her missing the following day.

One of them allegedly told cops that Joshlin was sold for R20,000.

Sigaqa was released due to a lack of evidence but a few days later, Lourentia Lombaard was arrested.

Prosecutor Jacques van Zyl told the court that Lombaard had given cops a full confession, but didn’t give further details.

The four accused have abandoned their right to apply for bail and remain in custody and are due back in court on May 13.

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