Gert van Rooyen's missing victims: Cold case investigators focusing on Durban

It has been more than 30 years since at least seven young girls were allegedly kidnapped by paedophile Gert van Rooyen and his accomplice Joey Haarhoff.

The pair committed suicide after another schoolgirl they'd held captive managed to escape and led police to them.

Retired South African Police Service (SAPS) detective Don Chandler had been the investigating officer in the case of Fiona Harvey, who was abducted in Pietermaritzburg.

He's leading an unofficial team still determined to follow up any leads that could shed more light on what is now a cold case.

They're currently focusing their efforts on leads in Durban.

Skeletal remains. Picture: sxc.hu.

Chandler's been involved with the project since he was medically boarded following an accident in 1988.

We discovered that Van Rooyen and Haarhoff were in the Durban area a day or a few days after the abduction of all of the girls.

Don Chandler, Retired SAPS detective

There's proof from letters that were posted and various photographs that were picked up from that area.

Don Chandler, Retired SAPS detective

I've had close contact with the other investigators that were on the team... We all have a vested interest in this, as well as the team I'm working with now - ex-detectives, retired people, some are still employed. A large part of it is also from the public.

Don Chandler, Retired SAPS detective

The avenues they're investigating include a possible gravesite, paedophile network and trafficking ring.

We had appeals out in the newspapers for a certain church group to come forward of pastors and certain people that were involved with or befriended Van Rooyen and Haarhoff at that time. We had limited success with that but over the years we picked up various corresponding facts.

Don Chandler, Retired SAPS detective Don Chandler, Retired SAPS detective

Chandler says he has the approval of the parents concerned to continue the investigation, although most don't want any media attention.

He's appealing to the public for assistance with any relevant information. The self-funded team is also in need of financial donations, phones and external hard drives.

As far as I'm concerned, just about every case that a detective works on is based on information from the public and evidence obtained as a result of that information.

Don Chandler, Retired SAPS detective

Contact Chandler via email at gvrplus@protonmail.com.

For specific details on individuals the team wants to locate, listen below:

Thumbnail image credit: petitions.net


This article first appeared on CapeTalk : Gert van Rooyen's missing victims: Cold case investigators focusing on Durban


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