Family 'devastated' as missing father's body found

2017-02-21 07:00
Nottingham Road, The Bend residents, Christine and Roger Solik in happier times. The inseparable couple were kidnapped during a home invasion on Friday. Christine's body was found later on Friday and Roger’s body was found on Monday afternoon, two kilometres from where his wife was found.

Nottingham Road, The Bend residents, Christine and Roger Solik in happier times. The inseparable couple were kidnapped during a home invasion on Friday. Christine's body was found later on Friday and Roger’s body was found on Monday afternoon, two kilometres from where his wife was found. (Supplied)

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Pietermaritzburg - The hopes of the devastated Solik family of finding their father, Roger (66), alive were crushed when his body was found on Monday close to where his wife’s body had been discovered on Friday.

Christine (57) and Roger Solik were kidnapped from their home in the secure Nottingham Road estate The Bend in the early hours of Friday morning during a home invasion.

Christine’s body was found later on Friday in the lower Lotheni River in Impendle, with her hands and feet bound with wire and her head covered with a pillow case.

A frantic search for Roger, a sufferer of Parkinson’s, ensued throughout Friday and the weekend until Pietermaritzburg search and rescue found his body on Monday.

Tight-knit family

“While we are devastated by the news, we are also comforted by the fact that his body has been recovered,” the family said in a statement.

Son Brendon said although the family now had some closure, when the search for their father began on Friday morning, they had hoped to find him alive.

He said as the days dragged on, the family realised that the chances of his survival were growing slimmer by the hour, especially since he was a sufferer of Parkinson’s disease.

“We are a very tight-knit family,” said Brendon.

“We all spent lots of time together and had holidays together. This is an extremely difficult time for us all,” he said.

The siblings, twins Alexander and Gregory, Jessica and Brendon, thanked all who helped search for their father “under the leadership of the local and provincial divisions of the SAPS”.

“A particular word of thanks must go to Warrant Officer du Plessis of the Nottingham Road police station and Brian Jones of Together SA Can, with whom we have been in close contact every step of the way.

“Their professionalism and dedication to the search has been both comforting and inspiring.”

'Completely inseparable'

Brendon said his parents had been married for 36 years and were “completely inseparable”.

“We cannot begin to describe the amount of care within their marriage.

“Our father was beloved for his wicked sense of humour, his kindness and his passion for food and wine.

“Our mother was the glue that kept us all together with her well-known warmth and gentle, loving touch,” the family said.

“While the loss of our parents has shattered our hearts, the generous spirit with which they lived and loved the world will never leave us.

“We will always remember them for this, their gift to the world,” the siblings said.

'Everything upside down'

It is believed that Roger’s body was found with his hands and feet bound, with a pillow case covering his head, just as Christine’s body had been found.

The police were alerted to the couple’s disappearance after a neighbour, who was out walking on Friday morning, saw their car was missing.

KwaZulu-Natal police spokesperson Lieutenant-Colonel Thulani Zwane had said that a concerned neighbour entered the house, to find blood stains and “everything upside down”.

The neighbour immediately called the police and a case of house robbery and kidnapping was opened at the Nottingham Road police station.

Later that morning, police traced the couple’s cellphones, which led them to the Soliks’ car, abandoned in Taylor’s Halt, over 90 km away.

Police then received a call that a person walking near the Lotheni River in Impendle had spotted a woman’s body.

The body was that of Christine.

It is believed that money was drawn from the Soliks’ bank accounts in the Midlands and on the coast.

Condolences

Tributes to the couple flowed in on Monday. Howick resident Gilda Findlay said on Monday that the Soliks had been customers of Casablanca Blinds, Flooring & Decor in Howick since 2010.

“They were always friendly and very soft spoken and well loved by us,” said Findlay.

“Our sincere condolences to the children, family and friends.”

A Facebook post on the Nottingham Road/Rosetta/Mooi River Facebook page by Patricia Louise Freese said: “A wonderful couple and very dear friends. Our hearts go out to their children.”

Candice Joan Strydom also wrote a post on the page, saying: “This is so sad and tragic.

“A lovely couple and always so friendly and kind. Condolences to their family and friends.”

Nottingham Road Landowners Association chairperson Clive Foss said the organisation was relieved Roger’s body had been found as it would provide closure for the family, but said they were still “extremely concerned” about the viciousness of the attack.

Jones of SA Can thanked the police and everyone who helped in the search.

He said the investigation would not be at such an advanced stage if all those involved had not given 100%.

Police spokesperson Captain Nqobile Gwala said different police units are working around the clock looking for those involved in the murders.

“We appeal to the community to help identify the suspects.

“Contact your local police station or our crime stop number, 086 00 10111,” Gwala said.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  crime

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