Autopsy results show how Stella girls were murdered

2018-05-30 14:51
Sharnelle Hough and Marna Engelbrecht. (Photo: Instagram/Marna Engelbrecht)

Sharnelle Hough and Marna Engelbrecht. (Photo: Instagram/Marna Engelbrecht)

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The post mortems performed on Sharnelle Hough (17) and Marna Engelbrecht (16) have confirmed that both girls were strangled. This is according to Lt. Col. Amanda Fumani, provincial police spokesperson for North West, after the autopsies on the two friends were completed.

According to Fumani their bodies are still at the hospital in Stella where doctors are still collecting DNA samples to aid the police in their investigation. Only once this has been completed will their bodies be released to their families for burial. 

The two Grade 11 learners of Stella High School, a small agricultural school in the town of Stella in the North West, were both found dead this past Saturday in the school’s girls’ hostel. They were allegedly attacked and killed by Xander Bylsma (19), Sharnelle’s ex-boyfriend. 

Xander reportedly first strangled both girls with his bare hands, then later made it look like they’d committed suicide. Sharnelle was found hanging by a rope from the guardrail on the stairs, while Marna was found dead on the floor of one of the bathrooms, apparently with the strap of a backpack tied around her neck. 

Fumani has confirmed that the parents of these two bosom buddies will be able to take the bodies of their daughters home on Wednesday afternoon. 

Because Sharnelle and Marna were so close – they shared a room and did everything together – a joint memorial service will be held for them at the NG Church North in Vryburg, North West. 

Sharnelle’s father, Ronnie Hough, his wife, Anna, and Sharnelle’s mother, Sonja, spent most of Tuesday in Vryburg finalising proceedings for Friday’s memorial service.

Ronnie and Sonja are divorced and she travelled from Koster, where she lives, to Vryburg on Monday.

Ronnie confirmed that a memorial service for their beloved “Lalla”, as those closest to Sharnelle knew her, and her friend Marna would be held on Friday. The girls had been friends since they attended crèche as little girls and were roommates in high school.

Xander is still in custody after appearing in the magistrate’s court on two murder charges. He will remain in custody until 6 August. Capt. Charlize van der Linden, local police spokesperson, has confirmed that Xander has given police a statement but the details of it will only be revealed during court proceedings. 

Read more on:    kimberley  |  crime

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