The brutal murder of a 20-month-old baby girl has left a Free State family in shock. Bokamoso Mpembe’s body was found on a farm on the outskirts of Petrus Steyn after a four-day search. She had been raped.

On Sunday, Khoni Mpembe’s former boyfriend – who is not the child’s biological father – arrived at her home.

He assaulted Mpembe before grabbing sleeping baby Bokamoso and ran off with her. He managed to outrun community members who were chasing him.

On Thursday, police found the suspect’s body hanging from a tree several meters away from the baby’s body.

“We are torn apart, to be honest. We are damaged inside, when it’s an elder going we accept easily. But now it’s too much because she’s one year eight months. She still needs our care; she still needs the mother’s care. We did not expect this to happen, especially when we see this on tv, hear on the radio we did not expect that one day it will come to our family,” says the little girl’s aunt, Penny Mpembe.

Bokamoso Mpembe’s body was found on a farm on the outskirts of Petrus Steyn after a four-day search:

A government and police delegation visited the bereaved family.

“How can you take out your anger to a one-year-old eight months child. That person knows nothing, when you were fighting that person knew nothing. But you then decide on your own to go out and destroy and brutally kill that person. Initially, investigations are showing that this child was raped, the doctor is looking around that particular matter,” said Free State Police, Roads and Transport MEC.

Police say the suspect was one of the thousands of offenders who were released on parole recently, as a measure to combat the spread of COVID-19 at correctional facilities.

He had been convicted of domestic violence after assaulting Mpembe and stabbing her multiple times.