A three-year-old girl in Durbanville, who was previously reported to have died in hospital after falling on her bike lever, was revealed to have died from being shot in the heart with a pellet gun.
This discovery was made during the autopsy, which was carried out at the Tygerberg Mortuary, and prompted detectives from Durbanville to launch an investigation to find the pellet gun which was used to kill the three-year-old, as well as the circumstances that led to the incident.
As reported by the Weekend Argus, it is alleged that the pellet gun may have belonged to a family member of the little girl, who was also a twin. It is also reported that a family member gave a plausible explanation for the shooting as well.
It is understood that the suspect is familiar with a pellet gun and knows how to load and fire the weapon. It is also understood the weapon was regularly used by the family member to hunt for birds.
The explanation for the shooting has satisfied detectives, as well as the state pathologist and ballistics experts working on the case.
The pellet which claimed the little girl’s life was not recovered during the autopsy, but rather when she was initially rushed to hospital by her mother last Sunday.
The girl’s mother said she had found her daughter slumped over the handlebars of her bicycle with a tiny puncture wound to her chest, which she suspected was caused by the bicycle’s brake lever.
The three-year-old had been riding outside on her bicycle when the incident occurred, accompanied by her twin sister, who was on roller skates.
The bicycle was delivered to the mortuary for inspection when the state pathologist found the heart wound suspicious.
The pellet gun was found on a table in the family home when detectives launched the search, as the pathologist had determined that the puncture wound could not have been caused by a brake lever.
Durbanville detectives have been guided in their investigation by senior officers from the Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences Unit.