A SHOCKING photo has emerged from the inside of a filthy “dungeon-like” room where a six-year-old girl was held after she was snatched from her mum’s arms.
Terrified Amy-Leigh de Jager was reportedly kept captive in appalling conditions after she kidnapped from the gates outside her school in South Africa.
Amy-Leigh de Jager was snatched from her mum’s arms on the school run on Monday[/caption]
This shocking image shows the grimy room the six-year-old was held in[/caption]
Sources told News24 the room was “almost like a dungeon” adding: “It was no place for a child; hell, it was not fit for any human.”
Amy-Leigh was eventually rescued after her abductors, who had demanded a £110,000 ransom, abandoned her in the street.
Three people – including a teacher “known to the family” – have been arrested in connection with the case.
Formula 1 powerboat champion Wynand told news crews: “I can confirm that one of the suspects is indeed Jayden’s teacher. She is known to me and my family.”
The family have since been targeted by cruel trolls on social media suggesting that they were involved in the kidnapping.
Mr de Jager added: “I wish to make it very clear that my family had no hand in this.”
Distraught Angeline de Jager had just parked her VW Polo outside a school in Pretoria and was about to walk daughter Amy-Leigh and her brother, five, inside when the alleged kidnappers struck.
Amy-Leigh’s family said they cried “tears of relief” after she was found[/caption]
Cops believe Amy-Leigh was specifically targeted because they threw her brother aside and ignored all the other children nearby in order to rip the girl from her terrified mum’s arms.
A short while later her dad Wynand, who is a F1 powerboat racer on the international circuit, received a mobile call demanding a two million rand ransom (£111,000) for his daughter’s safe release.
With the abduction making headlines around the world, the kidnappers later dumped the distraught little girl on a street corner in the dark at 2am on Tuesday – 19 hours after she was snatched.
They had given the six-year-old girl 4 rand (20p) to buy some water, pointed at a nearby car and lied that her mother was sitting inside waiting for her.
Today, Wynand de Jager confirmed that one of the arrested women was the teacher of his son Jayden at Kollegepark Primary School.
Amy-Leigh’s family said they cried “tears of relief” after she was found.
Writing on Facebook, Amy-Leigh’s auntie Louise Horn said at the time: “Tears have come out like rivers and the sadness and fear cannot be described in words. The love of strangers has left us speechless.
“I had the privilege to be able to hold Amy-Leigh early this morning and kiss her. Her smile got fused to the front of my heart. Innocent children do not deserve this sadness.
CCTV shows the 4×4 driving off with the girl in the back after the terrifying abduction near Johannesburg[/caption]
“Thank you to the media and thank you Lord for our miracle end. Amy-Leigh you are so brave and I love you with my whole life.
“We are just thankful that she is alive.
“It was the longest 19 hours of our families lives and we are really glad she is back with us.”
Two women, aged 27 and 40, and a 50-year-old man were arrested at their homes in Vanderbijlpark on Wednesday night, confirmed police Brigadier Vishnu Naidoo.
One of the female suspects, he said, “is known to the parents of Amy-Leigh”.
He said: “Amy-Leigh was released unharmed at about 2.30am on Tuesday morning having been kidnapped at 7.40am on Monday outside her school and we have made three arrests during an intelligence-led operation.
“We have arrested two women aged 27 and 40 and a 50-year-old man at their homes in Vanderbiljpark and the operation by our specialist teams is continuing and more arrests may follow and we will keep you updated.”
A source close to the family confirmed to TimesLIVE that one of the people arrested was a “very close family friend” and added “the other suspect is also connected to the family”.
According to the source, Amy-Leigh is still very traumatised and is yet to return to school.
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A private investigator who specialises in tracing missing children, Wendy Pascoe, was called in to work along with hostage negotiators and tracing teams and the SA Crime Intelligence Unit to help trace her.
Wendy told TimesLIVE: “This is not something we usually see with kidnappings and what is odd is that the vehicle wasn’t taken but the child was as usually the child is taken by mistake when a car is hijacked.
“What is also very curious is that the abductors seem to have targeted Amy-Lee as they paid no attention to the other children which tells us that they were waiting for her and they knew who she was.”
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