Officers have found the phone of slain 16-year-old teenager Franziska Blöchliger, her father Florian Blöchliger said on Thursday.
“The problem is that she had her own account and if you try [with the password] too many times, the iPhone shuts down,” he said.
Earlier in the day, he expanded on the calls he had received from his daughter’s phone after she went missing.
He said he had heard the sound of a child or baby crying in the background of the call “as if its toy had been taken from it”.
She was murdered in Tokai Forest on Monday afternoon while out for a run with her mother, sister and their family dog.
Her phone was one of the items taken. It is understood that the last signal was picked up in Westlake on Monday night.
The iPhone’s encryption has in the past presented a hurdle to police worldwide.
Reuters recently reported that Apple was fighting an order obtained by the United States government last month which required it to write new software to disable passcode protection for an iPhone used by one of the deceased San Bernadino gunmen.
The issue was also prevalent in local courts.
It was most recently raised during the appearance of a Guatemalan national accused of killing US marketing executive Gabriela Kabrins Alban in an upmarket Camps Bay hotel last year.
A prosecutor in that case revealed last week that police were struggling to unlock two iPhones and an iPad which could hold key evidence.They had partially unlocked a third iPhone.
Magistrate Grant Engel raised concerns at the time about the impact the US battle with Apple could have locally.
If the teen’s body was released tomorrow, her father said they were hoping to have a funeral at a church in central Cape Town on Friday evening.
Blöchliger pleaded with the media and residents of Cape Town to find those responsible for his daughter’s killing, “because they cannot do this to another child”.
Three people, aged 22 to 27, were arrested on Tuesday night and expected to appear in the Wynberg Magistrate’s Court on Thursday.