Family and friends have been left distraught after a woman who was declared missing was dead inside her office.
Lucia Thembisile Yende, a 30-year-old woman missing for nearly two weeks has been found dead in her Eskom office at the Springs power station, South Africa on Monday, May 29th.
According to Times Live, Lucia Thembisile Yende was last seen on May 17. Her white single cab Toyota Hilux was also found in the parking lot. Her body was found in the office which remained locked since the day she went missing, despite police dogs sniffing the premises.
“On the day she was reported missing, police came and searched the offices. They even had police dogs there but could not pick up any smell” Eskom national spokesperson Khulu Phasiwe told News24.
“We know that the woman was found in her officeâ but I donât know what was the cause of deathââ police spokesperson Kay Makhubele told TimesLIVE on Tuesday morning.
Eskom officials were quoted as saying that âsomething untowardâ had happened on the day that Yende had gone missingâ referring to the fact that CCTV cameras had stopped recording.
Family spokesperson Mboneni Yende said relatives had tried to figure out what she had been up to at workâ but were told the CCTV surveillance system was switched off that day.
âThe sad part is that on Thursday we went thereâ there were three workers that were inside the station working. On that dayâ it had been 10 days since had been missingââ Yende said.
âAre you telling me that if someone has been dead for 10 days then you canât smell anything? That is highly impossible. The people who were there knew what they were doing?”
Meanwhile, Search and Rescue lead investigator Lourens Smit said there is suspected foul play surrounding the death of the young woman.
“When she was reported missingâ the whole office and its surroundings were checked by SAPS and the K9 unit. The family and community members also searched. Her body was definitely not at the office. On day 13 [13 days after she went missing] her body is foundâ locked in her office. That definitely suggests foul play.” Smit said.
Lourens also said that Eskomâs CCTV was working up until the day Thembisile Yende went missing.
âAccording to her cousinâ who went to the Eskom officeâ the cameras were not working on the day that she went missingââ Smit added.
âWhy the cameras were not workingâ I donât knowâ but there is definitely more to the disappearance.â
Eskom spokesperson Khulu Phasiwe also said the company does not yet have details surrounding Yendeâs death and that a post-mortem will shed some light on what happened to her.
âAll we know is that she was reported missing for two weeks. She was found in a sub station. Circumstances surrounding her death will be uncovered by the police investigationââ
Spokesperson Kay Makhubele said the police have opened an inquest docket.
âIt is alleged that the woman was last seen when she went to her work place at Eskom in Springs.
“Late in the evening the family went to the police station to report her missing after seeing that she was not coming back home and not answering her phoneââ Makhubele said.
âSince then the police have been searching for the whereabouts of the woman. Yesterday [Monday]â the police were called at Eskomâ where they pointed out one office which was not in use and had a funny smell. The police had to break the door because it was lockedâ only to discover the body of the missing woman.â
He said the police do not yet know the cause of Yendeâs death and are awaiting post-mortem results.
Makhubele said allegations that cameras were not working when the woman went missingâ will be part of the police investigation.
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