The first day of the new school term ended on a tragic note for a Klapmuts family when their 12-year-old son went missing on Monday and his body was found in a dam a day later.
A massive search was launched on Monday evening when Rowan Titus failed to return home.
His parents registered a missing persons case with Klapmuts police early the next morning but sadly his body was found floating in a dam on Tuesday night, about one kilometre from his home.
Police spokesperson Warrant Officer Joseph Swartbooi confirms: “A missing child (aged 12) report was registered with Klapmuts police on Tuesday at about 8.45am.
“The Provincial Diving unit members joined the search and recovered the body of a young boy from a local dam.
“The victim was declared deceased on the scene by the medical personnel. Klapmuts police registered an Inquest for further investigation.”
Rowan was in Grade 6 at Klapmuts Primary School and it’s believed he went swimming due to the hot weather on Monday.
When the Daily Voice arrived on the scene on Tuesday night, residents were standing on the bank of the dam waiting for the body to be fished out.
His family was too traumatised to speak.
Community leader Lucinda Horseband says they’d been searching for the boy for two days and messages were spread in WhatsApp groups to alert everyone.
She says: “He didn’t go to school on Monday because it was not their turn. He left the house at about 4.30pm. He was with a friend and this boy was too scared to speak out about the drowning.
“We have to teach our children to speak out about things like this.
“This is not the first time that a school child drowns in one of our many dams.
“A few years ago another boy, Keenan, was found in a dam after we searched for him for five days.
“I have to thank the community of Klapmuts who searched tirelessly for Rowan.
“I know it’s hot here and on Monday I chased many young children away when they wanted to swim at this dam. I even said we’d be sitting with a case like this and now this happened.”