Christmas miracle for city mother
that I never stopped searching for you.”
Cyster urged other parents of missing children not to give up hope. “Trust in God, keep your faith; you never know when you, too, will get that call.
“It’s been so long. I can’t wait to hold her in my arms again… tell her I missed her but I understand that she has a lot to work through. All my dreams have now come true.”
Du Plessis said it was not difficult to track down Johnnica, because her mother already had a last known Port Elizabeth address for the couple who took her in 1993.
“Once I got the details I found the case listed as a theft case on the system. I could not find the original case docket so I opened a new one.”
Du Plessis said he could not find Johnnica’s case on the circulation system at the missing person’s bureau.
“They had no records of the case, but the mother had various old newspaper clippings.”
He said he contacted his colleagues in Port Elizabeth .
“It took about a week for the PE police to take statements from the sister of the man who took Johnnica.”
This woman had found out who Johnnica was when her brother and his wife became ill. “She never reported it and merely assumed everything was okay and that Johnnica’s family was not searching for her.”
Du Plessis said the girl was still coming to terms with the news about her childhood kidnapping and needed time.
“She never knew that the people she called mom and dad were not her real parents.”
Du Plessis said blood samples still needed to be sent for forensic testing.
“We are 99 percent sure but we need the DNA testing to seal the deal before mother and daughter can reunite at last.”
Du Plessis has meanwhile encouraged Cyster to write a letter to her daughter in the interim, which he plans to deliver, to open the lines of communication.
“I know that the mother desperately wants to make contact with her daughter, but unless someone pays privately for the blood tests she might have to wait another few weeks before she can finally meet her child again,” said Du Plessis.
Western Cape police commissioner, Arno Lamoer, commended Du Plessis for a sterling job.
“This policeman, through his actions, showed that after more than 25 years of service he is still committed to his job.”
Lamoer added that other policemen should draw inspiration from Du Plessis’s actions.
“It just took the dedication of one policeman to change the lives of an entire family. If more follow in his footsteps many more cold cases could be solved.”