‘Joshlin’s DNA trace points to Saldanha Bay’: Bloem investigator uses tracking device in search

Joshlin Smith has been missing since Monday, February 19. Picture: Supplied

Joshlin Smith has been missing since Monday, February 19. Picture: Supplied

Published May 3, 2024


Cape Town - A private investigator from Bloemfontein has become involved in the search for missing Joshlin Smith, claiming he has located her static DNA in the Saldanha Bay area.

The claim has infuriated some residents and the missing child’s paternal grandmother, Lauretta Yon, who said she was in the dark over any alleged discovery.

It has been more than two months since the 6-year-old went missing from her Middelpos home in Diazville while in the care of her mother’s boyfriend, Jacquen Appollis.

Her 33-year-old mother, Racquel “Kelly” Smith reported her missing a day later, on February 20.

This week, retired police officer Danie Krugel, alleged that he had found Joshlin’s hair.

Krugel is the inventor of the Matter Orientation System (aka Krugel Theory Tester), which he claims can track a person’s location by using their DNA, for instance a strand of hair, which he was given.

Her 33-year-old mother Racquel Kelly Smith went to report to the police on February 20 the day after she went missing. Picture: Patrick Louw
Danie Krugel was a police officer for many years in another provice but now he is retired. pic screen grabbed

He famously took on the task of tracing missing people like 3-year-old British girl, Madeleine McCann, who disappeared from a holiday apartment in Praia da Luz, Lagos, Portugal, in 2007. Madeleine was never found.

“My work is to use the DNA of people to help to find them or link the DNA to evidence.

“We found Joshlin’s hair and we have our findings but we can only share it with the police.

“We didn’t charge anything for Joshlin because this case touched us, and also we wanted to help the police, and trust that the police will do the best they can to help Joshlin.”

@missing_children_backup #SAMA28 #southafrica #joslinupdate #SAMA28 #missingchildren #joslin #joslinsmith #foryoupage #fyp #foryou #capetown #saldanha #prayforjoslin ♬ original sound - ♡ Joslin Updates ♡💋

Police spokesperson, FC van Wyk, said: “This office cannot comment on the accuracy of the device quoted in the media enquiry. However, in the quest to find Joshlin Smith, all information received is followed up immediately by the investigation team irrespective of the source or methodology used to source the information.

“The above follow-up and sporadic searches are conducted in conjunction with community members, NGOs and other law enforcement agencies.

“To date, although all received information has been followed up, the whereabouts of Joshlin still remain unknown. Investigations and search continues.”

Yon said: “I had no idea about this breakthrough, someone came to show me the video and I was shocked.”

Saldanha Bay councillor Vernon Vraagom bemoaned a video made by anti-gender-based violence activist Reverend June Dolley-Major, who said she had been contacted by Krugel.

In the video, Dolley-Major says the DNA was detected in two areas that she declined to mention because the information was handed over to the police.

“Danie was trying to find hair samples of Joshlin to try and see if he could pinpoint exactly where Joshlin is. This equipment doesn’t show whether someone is alive or deceased. I was given his number, and we contacted each other. I found two elastic bands with Joshlin’s hair on it,” she said.

“And Danie received them. He is in Bloemfontein. He ran it from there and picked up Joshlin’s DNA in Saldanha Bay and gave us the exact location, which I will reveal if the police don’t do anything in two weeks’ time.”

Vraagom said: “Why wait for two weeks to find out where the child is? A lot can happen in two weeks, he must take the police there. Take us there. We want the reverend to come out and show us the location. I’m furious that she came out now; are you taking the community for a ride? We either find her or not. We’re at the point where we say to all these people, when they have a vision, come and take us there, where God showed you, where Joshlin is. No one has done that.”

Smith, Appollis, their friend Steveno van Rhyn and Phumza Sigaqa were arrested on March 5 and charged with kidnapping and human trafficking of the Grade 1 pupil.

However, the charges were dropped against Sigaqa due to a lack of evidence. Lourentia Lombaard, also Smith’s friend, was later arrested and reportedly made a confession.

The four are expected to appear in the Vredenburg Magistrate’s Court on May 13.

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