The body of three-year-old Courtney Pieters was found in a shallow grave yesterday, 10 days after she went missing in Epping, Cape Town.
Pieters went missing on Thursday, May 4 and was last seen playing in a street near her home in Elsies River in Pluto Street, Salberau.
Dozens of community members, family and safety groups had joined the police in the search operation for the missing girl.
Just few days ago, her distraught mother Juanita Pieters had pleaded for her safe return. She told reporters that she had been unable to cope with daily life, not knowing where her daughter was.
"Just bring her back to me because I can't go without her" she cried. "Yesterday I felt like ...go throw me under a car because I miss her too much.
It was a heartbreaking scene in Pluto Street yesterday where dozens of residents had gathered outside the child's home to show support. Inside, the girl's siblings sobbed uncontrollably while her parents were in an upstairs bedroom in a state of shock.
Forensic tests are needed to confirm that it is the missing girl's body, but her family members have identified her clothes.
Police spokesperson FC Van Wyk says an investigation is ongoing and no arrest have been made. He urged people with information about the case to contact their nearest police station.
Meanwhile, a wreath laying ceremony was held earlier today at the site where little Courtney's body was found.