Free State 9-year-old girl found dead inside wardrobe, residents allegedly kill suspect


The body of nine-year-old Free State girl Boipelo Sesele, who disappeared while playing with other children on 1 September, has been found.

Free State police spokesperson Brigadier Sam Makhele said Sesele's body was found not far from her home on Saturday afternoon.

"It is alleged that the children were playing in the street when they sensed a bad smell from a shack not far from Boipelo's home and alerted community members who've been assisting to look for the child.

"They went to the shack and found it locked, forced entry and opened the wardrobe where the smell was coming from and found the body of Sesele, then alerted the police."

Makhele said while at the scene, it's alleged the owner of the shack appeared and was attacked by the community.

"The police tried to intervene, but were also attacked, ultimately, they managed to take him out of this volatile situation, but was later declared dead by the emergency medical service," said Makhele.

Makhele said the situation in the area was still tense, but was being monitored by police.

The discovery came amid a massive 12-day search by concerned community members.

A member of the search party and community leader, who identified himself as Mr Thebe, told SABC News that he was approached by a child around 16:00 on Saturday reporting a bad smell coming out of the shack in which Sesele's body was found.

"I opened the door, the shack was just in a mess, it was all filthy there. Then I went to check the wardrobe. As I was going to the wardrobe, her hand was showing from outside. She was seated inside the wardrobe. She was decomposed. It broke me, but I thank God we have finally found closure."

Sesele was reported missing by her mother Lynette.

She was last seen playing with friends in the street not far from her home on 1 September 2020 at about 1pm.

At the time, Lynette alleged that she had gone to visit a friend in Phomolong, leaving Boipelo playing with friends.

Makhele said on her return, Lynette discovered that Boipelo was missing.

She went to enquire from her friends who told her that Boipelo had been talking to a tall man wearing a pair of blue overalls and both of them left for the tuck shop and never returned, Makhele said previously.

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