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Courtney Pieters's suspected killer lived 'down the hall'

He knew the family well - well enough, in fact, to be asked to watch over Pieters and her six-year-old sibling on the day she went missing from their home in Elsies River, on the Cape Flats.
When Pieters' mother, Juanita, left the house that day she asked the man, who was at home sleeping after working a night shift, to "watch over" the children. The man had been living with the family for two years.
They trusted him, even after Pieters went missing, confiding in him and using him as a source of support in their time of need.
The man became quickly involved with the investigation, embedding himself in the Elsies River Community Police Forum search.
And when 200 members of the public went looking for the little girl on Saturday, it was he, along with other volunteers, who first stumbled across the body.
"The man, now arrested for Courtney's murder, was actively involved in the search every step of the way. He was on the scene when her body was found.
"It's been extremely traumatic for all of us, knowing he was so close to the investigation," said Imraahn Mukaddam, head of the police forum.
The suspect's ability to insert himself into the investigation quickly troubled Mukaddam because he received the same information as family members.
"He was very supportive of the family, giving him a position in which he was able to manipulate them and the investigation. It's very difficult because you never want to immediately scrutinise immediate family and friends," Mukaddam said.
He commended neighbourhood watch groups and volunteers who had participated in the search.
"Any time a crisis like this occurs, especially regarding a child, a co-ordinated approach is sparked immediately," Mukaddam said.

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