Thirteen-month-old Brackendowns baby found and domestic helper arrested

An effectively executed tactical takedown by a multi-disciplinary team of the South African Police Service in Gauteng Province, has led to the arrest of five suspects for the kidnapping of 13-month old Eden Laird of Brackendowns.

Baby Eden was reported missing on Wednesday 02 May 2018. It was reported to police that the domestic helper had taken the child from his Brackendowns home for a walk from which they both never returned.

Police immediately launched an intelligence-driven operation, keeping close tabs on the numerous phone calls where suspects demanded a R6 million ransom from the parents, in return for the safe release of the child.

Taking cue from the Police Hostage Negotiator, police arrested the initial two suspects at the ransom-drop-off point in Ekurhuleni West. Further investigations led police to Windmill Park where the domestic worker and another suspected co-conspirator were also arrested. The fifth suspect was arrested in Katlehong, where a vehicle was seized on suspicion of having been used in the commission of the crime.

The Provincial Commissioner of police in Gauteng, Lieutenant General Deliwe de Lange, has now sanctioned an immediate further investigation by the Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences Unit (FCS), towards securing a successful conviction by the Court.

The baby has been reunited with his parents.

Of these five suspects, four are Zimbabwean nationals, while the fifth suspect is South African. It is important in this instance to mention the nationality of the suspects in cautioning members of the public against recklessly employing people without conducting the necessary background checks said Lieutenant General De Lange.

The Provincial Commissioner also applauded the multi-disciplinary team whose determination and dedication has seen to the successful reunion of the missing child with his parents.

Source: South African Police Service

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