News

Car parts discovered on cliffs while searching for mom and kids

It is thought that car parts found at the bottom of a cliff in Herolds Bay near George belong to the vehicle in which a mother and her two children were travelling.

Heidi Scheepers (35), her six-year-old daughter and two-year-old son were last seen walking on the beach in Herold’s Bay on October 22 around 6pm.

Her husband, Ettienne (36) allegedly left them, on foot to check on some of the couples businesses.

When Heidi and the children did not return home, both Eastern and Western Cape police were placed on alert and a search was launched as it was initially thought that they had been abducted in their charcoal coloured Volkswagen combi.

Social media posts went viral asking for assistance to find the mother and children, and rescue workers and residents joined the search across the town and surrounding suburbs, as far along as George.

The National Sea Rescue Institute (NSRI) deployed a helicopter on Wednesday and while conducting a search, someone noticed what appeared to be a VW Caravelle door matching the colour of the missing vehicle on the steep, rocky cliff in Voëlklip.

A search was then conducted along the remote area situated on the outskirts of the town but Southern Cape police spokesperson Captain Malcolm Pojie said the divers had to withdraw shortly thereafter as the weather conditions changed and the sea became too rough.

Rescuers abseiled down the 100m cliff face but were unable to recover the vehicle parts.

The vehicle cannot be seen, only parts which appear to be the same colour of the missing Caravelle.

Ettiene told media that he had driven with his family from their home in a nearby Golf Estate to the beach where they were going for a walk while he went to check on their businesses, the Harolds Bay Cafe and a property management company which manages several holiday homes in the area.

He was meant to leave on Wednesday to conduct business in Mozambique but cancelled the trip in order to help search for his family.

He drove home in his vehicle, which was parked at the Cafe and arrived home about 7pm to discover they were not home.

Ettiene immediately began contacting friends and family to inquire if anyone had seen Heidi, but when nobody had any idea of her whereabouts he began riding around, before going to the police at 9pm.

Heidi had left her cellphone and everything at home as she had intended on having a quick walk with the children before returning back.