Family of missing Pretoria woman to conduct their own search for her body

The family of missing former Durban policeman's wife, 57-year-old Dawn Basdeo, have asked for permission to conduct their own search for her body, police spokesperson Captain Colette Weilbach told News24 on Wednesday.

Weilbach said the investigating officer had given her family permission to conduct the search. 

She added that, while the family would conduct the search, there were still no new leads and information, and investigations were ongoing. 

"The investigation officer said there are currently no new leads or information from the investigation that lead to the search initiative of the family," Weilbach said. 

She added that any help was needed to crack the case.

Dawn has been missing for almost two months. 

READ: 'But there is no body' - lawyer of man charged with wife's murder argues

She was last seen on June 8 at her home in Brooklyn, Pretoria. 

It is alleged that she left her home on that Friday morning to go to a nearby hospital, but never arrived at the hospital.  

Police conducted investigations that led to the discovery of a silver-grey 2007 Mercedes ML63 that was abandoned in Soweto. The vehicle was allegedly used by Dawn during the time of her disappearance. 

Her husband, Prem Emmanuel Basdeo was arrested, weeks after the sudden disappearance, and was charged with murder, defeating the ends of justice and perjury. It was alleged that he was not truthful in his initial statement when he reported his wife as missing.

He was denied bail by the Pretoria Magistrate's Court in July. Magistrate Disiree Stigling said the State had enough evidence to suggest that Basdeo was involved in his wife's disappearance. 

Stigling ruled that Basdeo had failed to prove exceptional circumstances existed to warrant his release on bail. 

Investigating officer Warrant Officer Frank Radue also told the court that Basdeo had deliberately given the police misleading information and statements. 

Opposing the Bail application, Prosecutor Kagiso Ranchu said Basdeo stood to gain nearly R4 million in insurance payouts against his wife’s life.