A heavily pregnant Tashleena Vanacore gently weeps on the shoulder of her aunt as she recounts the hours leading up to the discovery of the body of her 16-year-old son, Winston Cayllen Hendricks.
“Winny”, as he was known to his loved ones, had left his mother’s Eldorado Park home in the late afternoon on Tuesday last week. He was found murdered early the next morning, less than 1km from his family home.
The teen’s death comes a week after widespread unrest gripped the community, after the killing of fellow 16-year-old Nateniël Julies, allegedly at the hands of a local police officer. Three police officers have been arrested for his death.
Winston had told his mother and her boyfriend that he was leaving the house to walk to his friend’s home.
“He promised to be quick. He left and never returned. I started to not feel well and my boyfriend helped me into bed,” said Vanacore.
Vanacore remembers feeling a sharp pain in her side about 7pm that evening.
“This was probably the time my child [Winston] went through pain, but I told myself I will not sleep until my child is in the house,” she said.
Though the boy’s body had been discovered the previous day, the link between the missing boy and discovery of a body was not drawn until Thursday.
The deeply traumatised mother of four describes her son as being a happy boy who hated seeing his mother cry.
“There would not be a day that would go past where I didn’t feel that I needed his advice, that I would need a shoulder to cry on,” she said.
A case of murder has been opened at the Eldorado Park police station.
No arrests have been made.