Outline Circulating message claims that 9 year old Michael Verster is missing from his home in Pinetown, South Africa.
Brief Analysis The information in the message was factual but is now outdated. The child has now been found and is unharmed. Nine year old Michael Verster went missing in Pinetown, South Africa on 28th April 2010. However, 24th May news reports indicate that Michael was found in a shopping mall and has now been taken to a safe place by police.
Subject: FW: Missing Boy Michael Verster 9 yrs KZN this is not a hoax and he has not been found yet!
Hi there everyone,
Before I sent this out today I actually phoned the number on the flyer for Pine Town Police and I was told that yes Michael Verster is definitely still missing and I was asked if I could please send this out.
SO PLEASE FORWARD!
A missing child alert for 9 year old Michael Verster is currently circulating via email and social networking websites. The alert generally takes the form of an attached flyer that contains information about the case along with photographs of Michael and police contact details. The flyer notes that Michael Verster, of Pinetown South Africa was last seen getting into a car outside his school soon after his mother dropped him off for the day. The information in the alert was factual. However, the boy has now been found and is unharmed. According to news reports, he was found in a shopping mall and has now been taken to a safe place. A May 24 article about the case published on the IOL website notes:
A Pinetown, KwaZulu-Natal boy, Michael Verster, has been found in Vereeniging after he was reported missing almost a month ago.
The ginger-haired, hazel-eyed pupil was taken from The Browns School in Pinetown on the morning of April 28.
He had climbed into another car after being dropped off at school that morning, his mother Monique Verster said.
A relieved Verster said on Sunday that her son had been found at a Vereeniging shopping centre on Friday by a couple who took him to a nearby police station, and "he was taken to a place of safety".
It is so far unclear where the boy has been or who took him from his school on April 28.
Given that Michael has now been found, the continued circulation of the missing child alert is now unnecessary. Unfortunately, such alerts have a tendency to circulate for months or even years after the cases they describe have been resolved. If you receive this alert, please inform the sender that the boy has now been found.