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Kidnapped Toddler Picks Up Strange Habits From Abductors

A mom in Johannesburg, South Africa, is relieved to be reunited with her son one week after he was kidnapped from her home at gunpoint. But she says her son isn't the same.

After his safe return, Patricia Schraffl noticed that her 1-year-old son Relebogile "Ditsebe" Tsotetsi exhibited strange behaviors.

"We have noticed now that he sometimes uses tissues when he touches door handles," Patricia told News24.

"We don't know where he gets that from. Also, he now has a habit of taking off his nappy and trying to pee in a two-liter empty cold drink bottle," she said.

She believes her son may have copied these behaviors from his abductors do during his week-long ordeal that began with a phone call from a stranger.

Patricia, a funeral parlor owner, was at home with her family when she received a phone call from someone requesting she come pick up a corpse. Two of her children are her biological offspring, while three are foster children. She had recently split with her husband and former business partner, whom she had not spoken to since he was ordered to pay child support.

"We were all already in our nightgowns, but I asked my elder son to take out the car while I checked if I could locate someone to help me," Patricia told News24.

Because of an armed burglary just three months prior, she had cameras and a panic button installed in her home. When she checked the camera, she saw that the gate had been opened and there was a man standing in the yard.

Patricia instructed her children to press the panic button, move to the bedroom and call the police. Shortly afterwards, there was a knock on the door but she refused to answer it.

The police and armed officials were on the scene within minutes and discovered that the perpetrators had cut open the lock but were nowhere to be found. The armed police left the scene after not finding anyone.

"I told my son to put the van back because it seems like this was a false call," said Patricia, suspecting that the caller had simply wanted to lure her out of the house.

The phone rang again and the same customer who had called was on the line again, claiming that he was still waiting for her to collect the body.

As Patricia prepared herself to leave the house again, she opened the door and found two armed men outside.

"The guy cocked the gun and demanded the child. They held me by my T-shirt and pushed me towards the cot of the child," she remembered.

She felt helpless as she watched the men make off with her 1-year-old.

A week later, police returned her son to her. He had been found wandering between a petrol station and a car dealership.

The boy had a note with him with a warning for her and his father, Mmtlalepula.

"Attention Attention, Mpoku Funeral Parlour. We hope you have learned your lesson. You must tell Mmtlalepula that we want our money ... Or Else ..."

"I really wish he could tell me what had happened to him because at the moment, he can only string a few words together," she said.

The toddler is now undergoing counseling.

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