Burnt couple victims of robbery?

2009-06-18 00:00

ALTHOUGH the bodies of a couple found murdered and burnt near Howick on Tuesday have not yet been officially identified, investigators have reason to believe they know who they are.

Police are also believed to be hot on the trail of the alleged killers.

Two vehicles, which are believed to have provided vital clues to the identity of the victims, have also been recovered.

One car, a Volkswagen Jetta, was reportedly found at an intersection in Dargle at a time when police were unaware of the murders, and the other, a Jeep Cherokee, was discovered on the N3 near Hilton yesterday. It had a flat tyre.

Police spokesman Senior Superintendent Henry Budhram said yesterday that he would not be drawn on the identities of the victims, and declined to speculate on the circumstances surrounding the deaths.

He said he plans to release a statement to the media sometime today.

The Witness learned that the couple are suspected to have fallen victim to robbers at their home in the KwaZulu-Natal midlands on Monday night.

When the bodies were found, it was reported that there were indications that they may have been strangled.

It appears likely that they were killed in the course of a robbery and their bodies loaded into two vehicles and driven to the scene where they were dumped and set alight.

Police found two sets of tyre tracks from two vehicles next to the main road, and drag marks were visible from where the bodies were taken from one of the cars to the spot where they were then set alight.

Police said the bodies were still smouldering when they were found on Tuesday morning in thick bush on Beverley farm at Dargle.

The man’s facial features were charred beyond recognition. However the woman’s face was still recognisable.

Budhram confirmed last night that postmortems are under way to establish the cause of death

He said the results are not likely to be known before the end of the week.

ingrido@witness.co.za

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