Desperate for closure

2015-06-13 09:05
Kerry Winter

Kerry Winter (Supplied)

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KERRY Winter’s family lit a candle and said a prayer to mark her birthday yesterday.

She would have turned 42.

August will herald seven years since Durban woman Winter was murdered in Dubai.

Briton Mark Arnold was found guilty of murder and is currently serving a life sentence at the Dubai Central jail.

Kerry (then 36) disappeared in August 2008 following a quarrel with Arnold. Prosecutors charged him with clubbing her to death with a baseball bat and dumping her body in the sea with weights attached.

Arnold has maintained his innocence; no death certificate has been issued and authorities have not released boxes of her possessions.

While justice has been served, Winter’s family cannot find closure as her remains have never been found.

Winter’s brother, Kurt, said while his mother would light a candle and pray for his sister, he would simply do what he does every day and think of the positive memories he had of Kerry.

He said the family had not given up hope of Winter’s body being found, but they were frustrated by the lack of co-operation from SA consular services and Dubai authorities.

“My mom sent correspondence to Pretoria [consular services] and they wanted to know what the case was about.

“I was taken aback. I have dealt with them many times and they have the audacity to say they don’t know what this is about.

“Then they told us they can’t do anything without a death certificate, but they don’t know how the legal system works in Dubai. If you are a criminal you get assistance, but if you are a victim then it is a problem.”

Kurt said his mother wants to travel to Dubai soon to speak to authorities, but he has advised her to wait for some sort of documentation, “otherwise you are wasting your time”.

He said his mother wants to call Arnold, to appeal to him for some sort of closure.

“When she eventually goes to Dubai she will want to look him in the eye and tell her what he did to Kerry’s body.”

In September 2013, in an interview withThe Witness, Kurt Winter issued a challenge to the expats from South Africa, New Zealand and Pakistan who had played a role in trying to cover up his sister’s murder, to tell the truth so that his family can find and then bury her remains.

He had said it would have been impossible for Arnold to dump his sister’s body without help.

“Arnold did not act alone. One of his employees sent SMSs to us from Kerry’s cellphone while she was missing, yet he was never subpoenaed.

“I think that person should have explained to a court the circumstances surrounding his role in the deception that went on when we could not get hold of Kerry.

“Another youngster from New Zealand told police he was asked to buy a diving bag and weights, yet he was never asked to reveal this in court,” he had said at the time.

For Kerry Winter’s family, yesterday was an opportunity to reminisce about a loved one “whose life was taken too soon”.

But it was also a reminder that they will not stop in their fight to recover her remains and have them returned to the country of her birth

Read more on:    dubai  |  murder

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