News24 Wire
Wire Service
4 minute read
25 Oct 2019
8:08 am

Search for mother and daughter continues at Voëlklip after son’s small body recovered

News24 Wire

Southern Cape mum Heidi Scheepers and her two children suffered a tragic accident after they were last seen in Herolds Bay, near George, on Tuesday.

Heidi Scheepers.

The search for missing Heidi Scheepers, 35, and her daughter, Cozette, 6, continues at Voëlklip near George this morning, reports the George Herald.

The body of Little Hugo Scheepers (2) was found in the sea on Thursday, October 24, near the area where Scheepers’ minibus went over the cliff.

The Scheepers’ children.

He had been floating on the water and was still strapped into his car seat.

Due to rough sea conditions, police and rescue divers have so far been unable to go underwater to conduct further investigations.

Until late afternoon, they were still struggling to lift the vehicle, a charcoal-coloured VW Caravelle, out of the water.

Scheepers and her two children disappeared on Tuesday after being on the beach at Herolds Bay. Her husband, Etienne, reported them missing later that night.

Picture: Kristy Kolberg

Yesterday:

It has been confirmed that the body of a small child has been recovered from Voëlklip where a massive search has been under way for the missing Scheepers mother, Heidi (35) and her two children Hugo (2) and Cozette (6).

Southern Cape police spokesperson Capt Malcolm Pojie said the body was recovered from the water earlier today.

Picture: Supplied

George Herald journalist Kristy Kolberg, who has been on the scene since yesterday afternoon, confirmed that she saw forensic services carry a child’s car seat with what looked like a small body in a white bag to the top of Voëlklip.

The mother and children have been missing since Tuesday evening. The father, Ettienne, has not been seen at Voëlklip since the search began.

In photos that were circulated on social media earlier today it looked as though emergency workers were pulling a body from the cliff face, but police would not confirm the authenticity of this image.

Earlier:

The three were last seen with a charcoal VW Caravelle, registration number CAW 66036, according to the Pink Ladies organisation, which circulates information on missing people.

The George Herald reported on Thursday morning that a recovery vehicle was at a scene at Voëlklip where it is believed the vehicle went over the cliff. With low tide this morning, the remains of the vehicle could be seen at the bottom of the cliff.

A recovery vehicle is on the scene. Picture: Kristy Kolberg

Southern Cape police spokesperson Captain Malcolm Pojie said the search operation had now become a recovery operation.

Southern Cape police spokesperson Captain Malcolm Pojie said the search operation has now become a recovery operation. Picture: Kristy KolbergWe have strong reason to believe that the wreckage that was found at the bottom of the cliff is that of the missing person’s car. No registration number plate has been found and we can therefore not confirm it at this time.”

No bodies had yet been found.

Recovery and rescue personnel tried to secure the vehicle in order for police divers to investigate underwater.

Sea conditions did not allow for the divers to investigate the scene without putting their own lives at risk.

The recovery operation has been put on hold until conditions improve. The next low tide at Herold’s Bay will be at 7pm.

Scheepers and her two children, a daughter (6) and son (2), were last seen in Herold’s Bay late Tuesday afternoon. They have been missing since.

A picture of a fresh-faced and smiling Heidi, who has mid-length blonde hair was posted in the hope that people would report sightings.

Netwerk24 reported that she went to the beach on Tuesday with her husband Etienne and their children, Cuzette, 6, and Hugo, 2.

They parted ways in the parking lot with the understanding that they would meet at home later.

The alarm was raised by her husband when his family did not return.

The 35-year-old mother had not taken her cellphone with her.

Herolds Bay is a seaside town along the Garden Route.

Divers had to hold off their search in the water on Wednesday night, due to unfavourable weather conditions.

A broken windscreen of a Volkswagen, a shoe and other clothing were seen floating just below Voëlklip in the sea.

TimesLive reported that the couple owns the Herolds Bay Café and runs the Garden Route Property Management group, which manages several holiday homes in the area.

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