‘Escort’ killed, hair stuffed in mouth

2011-07-04 09:41

A woman was found dead with a stab wound to her heart and her ponytail cut and stuffed into her mouth at a popular escort agency in Pietermaritzburg on Friday evening, The Witness reported.

The newspaper said the woman, who has only been identified as 45-year-old Tessa, from Northdale, was found naked after she had apparently been attacked while working at Je’Taime Executive Men’s Club at the corner of Peter Kerchhoff (Chapel) and Pietermaritz streets.
Tessa had been working at the escort agency for the past two years.

Her body was found in a large pool of blood at about 6pm next to a shower in a toilet cubicle.
The newspaper said the agency manager had given police video footage from their CCTV camera, which allegedly shows the murder suspect.

“Her ponytail was cut from her head and it was stuffed into her mouth, apparently to prevent her from screaming,” said a witness who saw the body.

“The footage shows the man arriving at about 4pm. He stayed at the bar drinking and playing pool.

“It also showed him dropping the chair he was sitting on and picking it up. At about 5pm the deceased came in and kissed him before they both went to a room upstairs.”
The witness said the man was wearing a jacket when they went upstairs, but not when he came down at about 5.30pm.

“He had apparently put it in a small bag he had been carrying. When he came back from upstairs he just walked straight out,” the witness said.

The newspaper quoted the owner of Je’Taime, Andre Viviers, as saying that they handed the footage to the police to help trace the suspect, who is still at large.

Viviers said he was in his office conducting an interview for a new bartender when the body was discovered.

“While my daughter and I were busy conducting the interview, one of our ladies came here to tell us that someone had left the shower running upstairs.

“My daughter went up. She found a door to the toilet and shower closed.

“When she opened it she saw blood coming underneath the closed door of the toilet cubicle, and when she opened the door she saw this woman lying on the floor with her head behind the toilet seat.”

Viviers said his daughter screamed in shock and he ran upstairs to investigate.

He said he first assumed that the deceased might have slipped and fallen on the ceramic tiles and hit her head on the toilet seat.

“I immediately phoned ER24 and the police. The paramedics told us that she was dead and that she had been stabbed once in her heart.

“There was lots of blood in the toilet area. It was like a slaughterhouse. There were also drops of blood on the stairway and through the bar,” said Viviers. It appears that the blood may have been spread there by the suspect.

“It is also believed that the man may have removed his jacket because it had blood on it.”
Viviers said that they have employed a second security guard since the incident.

He said Tessa’s daughter and son-in-law came to the escort agency to look for her yesterday because she was not answering her phone.

Another source said Tessa had been receiving written death threats from people to whom she allegedly owed money.

Police spokesperson Lieutenant-Colonel Vincent Mdunge said he was not in a position to discuss the murder.


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