Cheryl killing: Top cop pleads for help

08 September 2020 | Crime

OGONE TLHAGE

WINDHOEK



Khomas regional police commander, Commissioner Joseph Shikongo, has made a renewed call for members of the public to come forward with credible information that may lead to the arrest of nine-year-old Cheryl Avihe Ujaha's killer or killers.

The young girl's murder and mutilation two years ago sent shockwaves through the country, but no one has been arrested for the gruesome killing. Speaking to Namibian Sun while on patrol in the Avis Dam area over the weekend, Shikongo said the police were still determined to catch whoever was responsible for Ujaha's death.

Her body was found on 28 August 2018. She went missing two days earlier and a frantic search was launched, including on social media.

Her mutilated body was found by a passer-by in Windhoek's Staanvas area. The police released an artist's sketch of the clothes Ujaha was last seen wearing - a striped jumpsuit, slippers and a bracelet - which are still missing.





'Partially boiled'

At the time of the discovery of her body, Khomas crime investigations coordinator, Deputy Commissioner Abner Agas, who was at the scene, confirmed that body parts were missing.

Agas said the body was partially boiled and there was no sign of a box or container in which the parts could have been carried. “The body was mutilated into pieces… that is all we can say for now. It was still not in a decomposed state, but it was in a stage where one can see that it is a body, but it was not decomposed,” said Agas at the time. According to him, it appeared the crime was committed somewhere else and the remains were disposed of in the riverbed. There was also speculation at the time of possible witchcraft links to the crime. Ritual, muti or witchcraft killings often involve the removal of body parts. So-called traditional healers have been linked to such murders in other southern African countries.



Renewed plea

Shikongo said at the weekend: “We are calling on members of the public because the police alone, without any assistance from anybody else, we cannot make a breakthrough,” he said. “We are working very hard; even the pledge of N$100 000 is still there,” he added, referring to the reward available to anyone who has information that could lead to an arrest. Shikongo admitted that the police do not have any credible evidence to assist in the apprehension of Ujaha's killer or killers. “No one is having evidence or information up to now that can lead to the murderer of Avihe. As law enforcement, we are interested to find out who the murderer is,” he said. Anyone with information regarding the murder should contact Agas at 081 1242 649.

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