Body of little boy believed to be Miguel Louw found in Durban

A decomposed body, believed to be that of missing Sydenham boy Miguel Louw, has been discovered in Phoenix, Durban, KwaZulu-Natal police said on Monday. 

Captain Nqobile Gwala said police were at the scene in Longbury Drive, Phoenix, where a decomposed body, suspected to be that of Louw, was found. Louw went missing on July 17 in the Sydenham area.

Gwala said officers from Phoenix, who had been working in the area on another case, discovered the body just after 15:00.

"They were using the dog handler when they went to the bush. That's when the dog led them to the body... When they arrived, that's when they discovered the... approximate 10-year-old boy's decomposed body."

She could not confirm that it was Louw's body.

"At the moment, we cannot confirm whose body it is, but there are strong possibilities that it's the body of a child who went missing at the end of July."

Louw was believed to have been kidnapped shortly after leaving school. When asked whether the body found was clothed in a school uniform, Gwala said that it had decomposed to such an extent that the clothing was only slightly visible.

Louw's aunt Tasmin dos Santos who was also at the scene was inconsolable, wailing as locals looked on.

She had to be helped away, staggering while being assisted by friends and family.

"For now… the body is so decomposed that you can only see a slight part of the clothes. We cannot confirm that it's a uniform per se. That, that's why we say, we suspect that it's a body of a child [who] went missing at the end of July," Gwala added.

Also read: Durban family desperately looking for answers over missing 10-year-old boy: 'No one is eating, no one is sleeping'

Based on the level of decomposition, the body had been there for much longer than two or three days, she added.

"...Because, from the face to the bottom, the body is decomposed. It's only the clothes that you can see."

She declined to say whether any preliminary investigations could link Mohammed Ebrahim to the body. It is alleged that Louw was last seen in the company of Ebrahim, was initially charged with kidnapping but the charge was later converted to child trafficking.

"At the moment, we are in a very sensitive stage of the investigation. We cannot confirm [whether there is any evidence linking the accused] because tomorrow the investigations are going to continue. That is where where we are going to establish whether it is linked to the person that is arrested on the kidnapping of Miguel," she said.

Video footage allegedly shows Ebrahim buying Louw KFC near his school in Rippon Road in Sydenham.

However, it is not yet clear whether the boy entered a taxi with Ebrahim after visiting the KFC. He was arrested on July 28. 

The Sydenham community, together with family members, have conducted a search for Louw and many have posted on social media and even taken to the streets.

On August 29, the Durban Magistrate's Court granted Ebrahim bail of R2 500.