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Saldanha Bay Mayor Calls for Responsible Sharing of Information in Search for Missing Child

Published February 28, 2024
4 months ago

In the tight-knit community of Saldanha Bay, the disappearance of six-year-old Joshlin Smith has sparked a surge of concern and a fervent search for the missing child. With the search entering its second week, Mayor Andrè Truter has issued a stern warning about the consequences of disseminating misinformation that could disrupt the ongoing investigation and rescue efforts.

Joshlin Smith from Diazville went missing on Monday, February 19, at approximately 5pm, and despite a considerable force of hundreds of people assisting in the search, no substantial leads have been reported. The investigation is ongoing, and the local police station confirmed a missing person's report was filed the day following her disappearance.

In a time when social media can both help and hinder criminal investigations, Mayor Truter expressed his discontent with the spread of unverified information. Via a Facebook post on Tuesday, Truter voiced his frustration over outsiders not associated with the municipality who are contributing to the spread of false rumors and unnecessary panic. He criticized such actions as potentially harmful, leading to misguided vigilantism and the diversion of crucial investigative resources.

Amidst the turmoil, Mayor Truter’s message is clear: the spread of unverified facts and unfounded speculation only serves to hamper the investigation, by diverting the focus from finding Joshlin to addressing false leads and rumors. He urged the public to only share factual information and provide any substantial evidence directly to the detectives in charge of the case, thereby maintaining the integrity of the investigation and preventing inadvertent tipping-off of potential suspects.

The Mayor's plea is for collaborative effort – to support the detectives' around-the-clock work in search of Joshlin, rather than distracting them with baseless conjectures and distractions. This approach ensures the concentration of all efforts on the primary goal - to find Joshlin and safely return her to her family.

As the Saldanha Bay community continues its search for Joshlin, local authorities ask residents and the broader public to act responsibly when sharing information online or within their networks. The Mayor underlines the impact that collective focus on the truth rather than sideshows can have on the outcome of such a delicate and urgent mission.

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