Cape Town – The decaying remains of a Khayelitsha woman who disappeared while celebrating her 21st have been found buried under a half-built house.
Anelisa Dulaze went missing on January 31, after going out with friends to a tavern in Town Two to celebrate her birthday.
Last month community members led a march to the Khayelitsha police station demanding that police intensify their investigation into her disappearance.
A suspect believed to be Anelisa’s ex-boyfriend is expected to appear at the Khayelitsha Magistrate’s Court on Tuesday facing a murder charge.
This after Anelisa’s body was exhumed from the foundation of an incomplete house just behind the suspect’s family home in Makhaza.
Police spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Andrè Traut confirmed the arrest of the 23-year-old man.
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“Initial investigation into the missing person report filed soon after her disappearance revealed the possibility of foul play and the case was then changed to murder,” he explained.
“Further investigation resulted in the discovery of her body at a residence in Makhaza [yesterday], and the subsequent arrest of the suspect.”
Traut says the circumstances surrounding the incident are still under investigation.
On Monday a large crowd gathered around the scene where the gruesome discovery was made, stating that they never suspected any foul play at the construction site.
Forensic officials spent hours at the scene combing through the area for evidence, many wearing masks to avoid the thick stench of decay.
Anelisa’s distraught mother Vathiswa Dulaze says she is relieved her daughter has been found.
“It is better that at least something has been found, it would have been worse to have gone on with the hope that she was alive,” she explained.
“It hurts because I still carried that hope, people kept saying she was seen walking around places and I would rush there hoping to find her.
“Not one day did I think of her as lying dead somewhere but I’m glad at last it is over.”
The cause of Anelise’s death is as yet unknown.
“I hope she went peacefully and didn’t suffer,” said Vathiswa.
“I still have a lot of unanswered questions on what happened that night.
“But were I to come face to face with the person accused of doing this, I don’t think I would even think to speak.”