Welkom man and woman arrested after body parts found

2011-04-06 08:59

A young couple were arrested for the gruesome murder of a 24-year-old Welkom man, whose body was found with limbs missing, Free State police said today.

Police spokesman Captain Stephen Thakeng said a 24-year-old man and a 20-year-old woman were arrested yesterday and all missing body parts were found.

Thakeng said the police task team, with other experts, made a breakthrough in the investigation.

Michael van Eck, 23, was found murdered and in a shallow grave at the Welkom cemetery on Sunday morning.

“The body didn’t have a head, a right arm, or left foot and both legs were amputated at the knees,” Thakeng said at the time.

Police contacted Van Eck’s parents after finding his car at a Welkom taxi rank on Sunday morning.

They said he had gone on a date on Saturday night and should have been at work on Sunday morning, however, his employer later told the police that he did not arrive for work.

The employer said Van Eck was to have met his date – a girl he met on the social networking site Facebook – at the Welkom cemetery.

There, police found Van Eck’s shirt. Police sniffer dogs found the shallow grave.

Yesterday information was followed up, which led the investigation team to a residential area in Welkom where the man and woman was found.

Thakeng said police searched the property and the missing body parts of Van Eck were found in a fridge, a cupboard, and buried in the garden.

Police said cats apparently also belonging to the young couple were found buried in the garden.

The two were arrested for murder and would appear in the Welkom Magistrate’s Court soon.

Thakeng said the possibility that the man and woman were involved in Satanism would be investigated.

Police also arrested a man who was found with Van Eck’s vehicle.

The 23-year-old man was arrested for questioning until he was charged for theft of a motor vehicle.

That case has been postponed for a bail application to April 12.

He was apparently not linked with the murder, said police. 

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