Woman (80) locked in car boot for days

2012-07-11 00:00

A PROMINENT elderly resident of the village of Wakkerstroom is paralysed after suffering a stroke while she lay locked up in the boot of her car for three nights and two days after a robbery.

An employee found Brenda Carter (80) on Monday morning after a part of her scarf hanging out of the boot of her car caught his eye.

“Everyone feels so bad and guilty, because while they were searching for my mother over the weekend, they walked past the car several times, yet no one thought of looking in the boot,” Brenda’s son, David Carter (50), an artist from Johannesburg, said yesterday.

“The car was parked outside. At times it was as cold as -7°C and she survived that cold. She had no food or water with her, but survived the dehydration. My mother is a strong woman. But she didn’t have her medication with her and suffered a stroke.

“Now my mother, who has been the life and soul of the town, and always game for a party, can no longer speak and is paralysed on her right side. The chances are good that it will be permanent.”

Brenda is a well-known and well-loved iris farmer in Wakkerstroom. Her flowers are distributed countrywide.

Police spokesperson Colonel Leonard Hlathi said a 25-year-old man was arrested in connection with the attack on Monday. He is expected to appear in the local magistrate’s court today.

Carter said the man was an employee of his mother’s and helped her with her earthworm business a few times a week.

He was reportedly caught while withdrawing money with her bank card.

Carter said his mother had visited friends on Friday. She arrived back at her house next to the local police station at about 7 pm.

She parked her car and got out. She was presumably attacked right there, because her car keys were still in the door when she was found. She was then put into the car’s boot.

Friends went to her home on Saturday, but after not finding her there they thought she had gone out.

Carter phoned his mother on Saturday and Sunday, but did not suspect anything untoward as she is fairly deaf and often does not hear the phone.

Carter said his mother is being treated in the Amajuba Memorial Hospital in Volksrust.

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