UK & World News

  • 21 July 2014, 21:42

Hijackers Drag Boy Trapped In Seatbelt To Death

A four-year-old boy has been dragged to his death behind a hijacked car in South Africa after his foot got stuck in a seatbelt.

Taegrin Morris' mum had just strapped her son into the back seat of her VW Golf in Reiger Park, Johannesburg, when she turned around to find a group of men, one of whom pointed a gun at her head.

Chantel Morris, whose daughter managed to escape, pleaded with the hijackers as she wrestled with her son's seatbelt, telling them: "Take everything but just let me take my child."

"Taegrin kept saying, 'Mummy, mummy, please help me.' But I couldn't. Then they ripped him from my hands," she told South Africa's Times newspaper.

With Taegrin's foot stuck in the seatbelt, the hijackers sped off, dragging the youngster along the road.

His mother and witnesses chased after the car in horror, desperately trying to get the hijackers to pull over.

The vehicle was later found abandoned 4km (2.5 miles) away, with Taegrin's body alongside.

In an emotional interview with eNCA, Mrs Morris appealed directly to her son's killers, telling them: "I don't have a child today. I have to make peace with that. But please, hand yourselves over."

Police have offered a reward of 50,000 rand (2,750) for information leading to the arrest of the hijackers.

Taegrin's death came just days after an armed gang stole another vehicle in Bronkhorstspruit, near Pretoria, with a five-year-old boy inside.

The youngster, Mongezi Phike, is still missing and President Jacob Zuma has appealed to the public for help in finding him.

South Africa has one of the highest violent crime rates in the world.

Vehicle theft is common, especially in larger cities like Johannesburg.