Chef: ex-employee arrested

2008-01-10 00:00

Police have arrested a 21-year-old man in connection with the murder of well-known Ramsgate chef Yvonne Cosson.

Superintendent Zandra Hechter confirmed last night that police took the man into custody in Umtata, Eastern Cape. The man was a former employee whom Cosson apparently fired last Thursday following a dispute over wages.

Cosson, who immigrated to South Africa 20 years ago, owned the award-winning South Coast restaurant La Petite Normandie.

Cosson’s badly burnt body was found partially buried in a flowerbed outside her Ramsgate home on Tuesday. Police investigated after they were alerted that the 69-year-old French chef had not been seen since Sunday.

Hechter said it appeared that Cosson was dragged from her bed to a downstairs lounge where, during a vicious struggle, she may have been bludgeoned to death. The room was spattered with blood.

Her attacker then dragged her outside and set fire to her body. It is not clear whether she died as a result of her initial injuries or whether she burnt to death.

Hechter said there are no other suspects in the case. She added that police have not yet found the vehicle that was taken from Cosson’s house on the night of the murder, but hope that the suspect might be able to help them locate it.

She said the man will appear in the Ramsgate court tomorrow.

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