Eight days later: Joshlin Smith still missing, mother’s boyfriend speaks

Joshlin Smith was last seen on Monday, February 19. Picture: SAPS

Joshlin Smith was last seen on Monday, February 19. Picture: SAPS

Published Feb 27, 2024


Eight days into the disappearance of six-year-old Joshlin Smith and there are still no solid leads.

Joshlin, from Diazville in Saldanha along the West Coast, was last seen on Monday, February 19, at about 5pm.

She is a Grade 1 learner at Diazville Primary School.

Police confirmed a missing person’s report was opened at the local police station on Tuesday, February 20.

Facebook also posted an Amber alert for the missing girl. Picture: Facebook

“Preliminary information reveals that Joshlin was left at home on Monday, February 19, with the mother’s boyfriend to look after her, as she was not feeling well. Later in the afternoon, when the mother returned from work, her daughter was not home,” Western Cape police spokesperson, Lieutenant Colonel Malcolm Pojie said.

Joshlin’s mother, Kelly Smith told police she asked about the whereabouts of the child, but could not find her. She later got hold of her boyfriend, Jacquin Appollis, who was supposed to look after the child, but he could not account for her whereabouts.

At the time of her disappearance, Joshlin was last seen wearing a light blue T-shirt and light blue denim shorts. She also has a birthmark located on her left arm.

Night vigil at Elsies River SAPS for missing Joshlin Smith. Picture: Ayanda Ndamane / Independent Newspapers

The last sighting of Joshlin was at the Diazville Clinic with a boy who is unknown at this stage.

Speaking to eNCA, Appollis broke his silence.

He told the broadcaster he had last seen her at around 2pm on the day she disappeared.

“She told me she was going to play with a friend. That is the last time I saw her. I am really, really honest,” he said.

Appollis said he felt somewhat responsible, as Joshlin was in his care.

Smith told police she could not immediately get hold of Appollis when Joslin went missing, however, he had a different version.

“I was at home like normal,” he said.

Appollis said they started becoming concerned at 6pm when the child did not return home.

“Until her mother got home at 6pm, then we got concerned. Then we started looking and we didn’t find her, until we called the police,” he said.

“Since day one, I have told the officers when they questioned me that it is not me.

“I can’t even leave the house and show my face outside. I can’t even get out of bed. I have no energy to do anything. All of this is making me feel confused,” Appollis said.

Joshlin’s grandmother, Lauretta Yon also spoke to the broadcaster and said if the mother or boyfriend had any information, they need to tell the truth. She said she cannot blame Appollis because there has been no evidence at this point.

Members of the community and those from surrounding areas, organisations from across the province have all continued searching for the missing child.

Police K9 Unit, divers, and air teams have also been deployed to assist in the search for the little girl.

Prayer chains have been started on all social media platforms and at the weekend a vigil was held for Joshlin’s safe return in Elsies River.

A reward is being offered to anyone who can assist in finding Joshlin.

Anyone with information, regarding the whereabouts of the missing Joshlin, is requested to contact the investigation officer, Sergeant Millstine of Vredenburg FCS at 079 879 8588 or Crime Stop at 086 001 0111.

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