NEWS

Uncle Who Looked Forward to Treating Niece is Hit with Tragic News

  Moritikei Vunisa planned to take his two-year-old niece to town for a treat on Friday.  But that plan would never be after Atelaite Maca Rabale was found dead on
07 Oct 2018 11:04
Uncle Who Looked Forward to Treating Niece is Hit with Tragic News
The Late Atelaite Maca Rabale.

 

Moritikei Vunisa planned to take his two-year-old niece to town for a treat on Friday. 

But that plan would never be after Atelaite Maca Rabale was found dead on the banks of creek in Sawani Village, Naitasiri, yesterday. 

It was around 5.30pm when Mr Vunisa returned from work and was told of news of his missing niece and then he joined the search. 

“I was looking forward to taking her to town yesterday (Friday) to buy her snacks.”

He said after searching likely places he began thinking the worst and that was that she may have fallen into the creek.

“I was standing knee-deep in the creek a few centimetres from where they found her this morning (Saturday),” he said.

“After a few hours of searching on Friday night at about 8pm we called off the search and I went and lodged a missing persons report at the Sawani Police Post.

“This morning (Saturday) after 6am my uncles went and searched for her in the creek. 

“They were clearing the grass by the banks when they saw her lifeless hand stretched out of the water.

“They brought her to the house, we bathed her, dressed her up and we took her to the Nausori hospital then to the Wainibokasi Hospital mortuary.”

Kelera Baleivatu shows a phone picture of her granddaughter Atelaite Maca Rabale.  Photo: Fonua Talei

Kelera Baleivatu shows a phone picture of her granddaughter Atelaite Maca Rabale.
Photo: Fonua Talei

Atelaite was with her grandmother, Kelera Baleivatu, who said the last time she saw her was when she was beckoning her to find her shoes while she quickly cleared the dishes in the kitchen. 

“In a span of five minutes after I spoke to her she was missing. I called out for her, but there was no response, then I went down to the creek and I saw our dog standing in the middle of the crossing looking at me.”

Mrs Baleivatu said the current was very strong that day and she was later informed by the village headman who lives beside their house that he had last seen the little girl go past the house with their dog.

“She must have slipped and fallen into the creek. This is so painful. Whe was our only grandchild, the apple of our eyes. We will surely miss her.”

Atelaite was raised by her grandparents in Sawani Village after her grandmother brought her from Vanua Levu nine months ago. She used to stay with her mother who works in a hotel in Savusavu.

A Police statement clarified that a post-mortem will be conducted to find out the cause of death as investigations continue.

Edited by Ranoba Baoa

Feedback:  fonua.talei@fijisun.com.fj

 

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