'Things became too much for her': Post mortem reveals young woman jumped to her death off Gourits river railway bridge

By Joanie Bergh
22 February 2017

A post mortem examination has revealed that Madelein Pienaar (28) took her own life.

After a search her body was found under the Gourits river railway bridge on Monday.

Sergeant Ebraim Kapp, spokesperson for the Kwanonqaba police station in Mossel Bay, says the post mortem was completed on Tuesday and foul play was not suspected.

Madelein had left a letter in her red Toyota Yaris. Ebraim declined to reveal what was written in the letter but said Madelein had written to her family about her intention to commit suicide.

Madelien, who lived in Riversdal, was last seen in her car on Sunday. She apparently put petrol in her car at about 2.30 pm in the Western Cape Town.

Read more: Vanderbijlpark woman who strangled daughter attempts suicide

Her loved ones suspect she wanted to visit Oudsthoorn, about 177 km from Riversdal, to visit a friend that day. She didn’t arrive at her destination.

When Madelein couldn't be reached by Sunday evening, her family became worried.

They posted several messages on social media to try to trace her. A relative from Albertinia (48 km from Riversdal) drove around looking for here on Monday.

She found Madelein’s car in the parking area at the Gourits river railway bridge and called the police.

From the bridge they could see Madelein’s body lying on the riverbank.

A confidential source said Madelein had suffered from depression. “She had a difficult life and after her marriage disintegrated a while ago things were sometimes too much for her.”

But another loved one told YOU no one suspected Madelein was depressed because she had "such a bubbly personality".

She will be buried on Friday.

The Gourits river railway bridge is between Albertinia and Mossel Bay. It’s 65 m high.

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