Slain teen didn’t have fractured skull

2013-11-28 13:48
Marthinus (77) en Katrina (53) Maré by Charmaine se kis. | Foto: Bongiwe Gumede

Marthinus (77) en Katrina (53) Maré by Charmaine se kis. | Foto: Bongiwe Gumede

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Cape Town - Slain teenager Charmaine Mare did not have any skull fractures, a pathologist told the Western Cape High Court on Thursday.

"In the absence of any skull fractures, haemorrhages or injuries, I'm of the opinion that no fatal head injury occurred," Dr Celeste de Vaal said.

She was testifying in the trial of 48-year-old Johannes Christiaan de Jager, who has pleaded not guilty to murdering 16-year-old Mare in January this year.

He previously explained that he dismembered Mare's corpse in a state of panic after an accidental fatal fall.

He said he grabbed Mare's arm, she slipped on a bath mat or lost her balance, and fell against the rim of the bath.

Limbs found in different locations

She apparently lost consciousness and he could not find a pulse on her neck.

He could not remember whether her head or another part of her body made contact with the bath.

The teen's torso was found burned in a field in Kraaifontein. Her lower legs and arms were found in separate locations and were in a state of decomposition but not burnt.

De Vaal conducted an autopsy on Mare's torso on January 15 and on the dismembered limbs two days later.

Romay van Rooyen, for the State, asked her whether there were injuries to suggest Mare had knocked her head.

De Vaal testified that there were no skull fractures but it was impossible to make a finding regarding the soft tissue of the head.

"In blunt injury, you usually see an amount of deep scalp bruising. Unfortunately, in this case, you cannot exclude there might have been an injury because it was charred."

Minor injury possible

She could not exclude the possibility of a minor injury which might have caused Mare to lose consciousness.

However, it was her experience that the more severe the injury to the skull, the quicker the death.
Mare's neck showed no fractures and the left thyrohyoid muscle was darker in colour.

Van Rooyen asked if this could have been as a result of a hand pressing the neck.

"It cannot be excluded. It is a possibility," she replied.

There were no signs of internal pathology or disease and De Vaal concluded that death was due to an unknown unnatural cause.

She said Mare was not alive when her body was burned because there was no soot or injuries in her airways and the carbon monoxide levels in her blood were the same as an urban dweller.
Read more on:    cape town

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
7 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
PARTNER CONTENT
INFOGRAPHIC: New thinking required for retirement

Everything we believe about retirement is fast becoming outdated.

PARTNER CONTENT
WATCH: How education can change a life

A university education gives students the chance to create a better future for themselves, their families and to opportunity achieve their dreams.

/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
Traffic
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.