A 6-year-old Zimbabwean girl who was kidnapped in South Africa three days ago was found dead in a sugarcane field on Tuesday, South African police have revealed. The girl, Alexia Nyamadzawo, was allegedly snatched from the back seat of her mother’s vehicle near Shakaskraal, north of Durban, on Sunday.

The Umhlali Preparatory School grade one pupil’s corpse was found dumped in the sugarcane field after police launched a  search. The search had entered its third day before police made the tragic discovery.

Speaking to the media police spokesperson Brigadier Jay Naiker said:

‘Detectives enlisted the services of the Umhlali Search and Rescue Unit to assist in the search for the missing girl. Following an arduous operation, the body of the missing child was located in a sugarcane field in Riet Valley.’

KwaZulu-Natal police commissioner Lieutenant-General Khombonkisi Jula commended the police officers involved in the operation for the breakthrough.

‘We treat all crimes against women and children very seriously and were extremely concerned when allegations of kidnapping surfaced. We are disappointed that we could not find the missing girl alive, however, we will do everything that is within our control to ensure that the perpetrator is brought to book,’ he said.

According to police spokesperson Brig Naicker, on Sunday evening police at Umhlali received a report of the kidnapping of a 6-year-old child.

‘The mother of the child reported to police that she was travelling on the Glendale Road near Shayamoya with her two children, aged 6 and 14, when the kidnapping occurred,’ he said.

The girl’s mother told the police that when she approached a speed hump, an unknown man opened the door of her vehicle and forcefully took her daughter, who was sleeping on the back seat. She fled the scene and reported the matter to the police.