Home News Joshlin Smith’s father wants custody, hoping for big reunion

Joshlin Smith’s father wants custody, hoping for big reunion

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The biological father of the missing six-year-old has travelled from the Northern Cape to Saldanha Bay to help in the search.

Joshlin Smith’s dad Jose Emke. Picture: Ayanda Ndamane, Independent Newspapers

THE FATHER of missing Joshlin Smith said he was going to fight for custody of all of his children.

The six-year-old disappeared two weeks ago when she was left in the care of her mother’s boyfriend, Jacquin Appollis, because she was too sick to attend school.

Jose Emke, 34, who is the biological father of the Grade 1 learner, has travelled from the Northern Cape to Saldanha Bay to help in the search.

Emke said that his mother, Lorita Yon, had called to tell him that his eldest daughter had vanished without a trace.

“I didn’t understand how she went missing. I think that she has been trafficked. She is somewhere out there,” said Emke.

He revealed that he had not spoken to Joshlin’s mother, Kelly Smith, yet.

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

“After hearing that Kelly and her boyfriend are busy with drugs, I want my children back. I have two children with her, including Joshlin. And I plan on fighting to have them in my custody,” Emke said.

Kelly has three children – aged 10, six and three.

Hours after Police Minister Bheki Cele addressed the Diazville community on Saturday afternoon, a tip-off led the police to a field near the 
Middelpos area where Joshlin was last seen, where bloody clothing was found.

Police spokesperson Malcolm Pojie said that they have expanded the search for Joshlin, and were making use of drones and search and rescue dogs.

“Clothing pieces, allegedly stained with blood, were discovered in an open field during random searches conducted late on Saturday night,” Pojie said.

“The clothing will be sent to our forensic laboratory for analysis. The search continues. No arrests have been made.”

Minutes after two forensic experts collected two bags of evidence at the scene, Kelly showed up with Appollis. But a short while later, they left on the back of a bakkie.

Later, Patriotic Alliance (PA) leader Gayton McKenzie posted a video on Facebook where Appollis was describing the clothes that Joshlin had on when she disappeared, claiming it didn’t match those found.

McKenzie said: “According to the mom and her boyfriend the clothes don’t belong to the little girl. The bloody shorts belong to a child, the concern is whose child was hurt.

“We want the police to update us about the clothing and the sheet that was found.”

McKenzie also believes that Joshlin was trafficked by a crime syndicate.

“We have discovered that the address on Joshlin’s hospital folder [at Tygerberg Hospital] has been changed on the hospital system,” said McKenzie.

“The change happened on February 25, during her disappearance, and her mother confirmed that her last visit was in 2019. We want the police to go to the hospital and investigate who changed the address,” he said.

“I believe Joshlin is still alive, she has [facial] features which could make her fit in Europe or China.”

The Western Cape Department of Health and Wellness said it was unable to provide confidential patient information, and referred queries to SAPS.

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