'Mom is murdered, and our dad has hours to live'

2017-02-20 10:10
Roger (66) and Christine Solik (57) were taken from their home during a home invasion in the early hours of Friday morning. Christine was later found dead and Roger is still missing.

Roger (66) and Christine Solik (57) were taken from their home during a home invasion in the early hours of Friday morning. Christine was later found dead and Roger is still missing. (Supplied)

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Pietermaritzburg - The family of a Nottingham Road couple who were abducted from their home during a robbery on Friday have made a desperate appeal to help find their father, Roger (66).

Roger and Christine Solik (57) were taken from their home on the elite Midlands estate, The Bend, during a home invasion in the early hours of Friday morning.

Christine’s body was found, bound and beaten, in a river in the lower Lotheni area of Impendle, later that day.

Roger, who has Parkinson’s disease, is still missing.

“Mom is murdered, and our dad has hours to live,” said a statement from the Solik family, sent to The Witness on Sunday afternoon.

The Soliks’ four children said in their statement that they were contacted by police on Friday, who told them there had been a robbery at their family home at the Bend Country Estate, and that their mother had been “found in a river, murdered some 70 km away from the house”.

“Our father, Roger Solik, however, is still missing.

Daily medication

“He has fought hard against Parkinson’s disease for 20 years,” said the family.

“Daily medication is essential for his condition and, no matter how mentally fit he is, without his medication he will become totally dysfunctional within 48 hours.

“It is critical that we find our father soon as he has hours to live.

“Our parents were inseparable and their relationship was something to aspire to.

“It is hard to understand that on their community farmland estate, with rolling hills and endless nature, and neighbours 100 metres away, that something so violent could happen.

“Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers,” said the family.

They thanked the Nottingham Road police, Pietermaritzburg K9 Search and Rescue as well as the Hawks, Ezemvelo Honorary Officers Airwing, Nottingham Road Land Owners Association and various other organisations for their role in searching for their father.

They also thanked Together SA CAN and “the outpouring from the community and friends”.

“Whilst we find ourselves in the most difficult and tragic circumstances, the teamwork under the leadership of SAPS gives us hope,” they said.

Crime scene

Roger and Christine’s disappearance was first noticed when a neighbour, who was out walking on Friday morning, saw the Soliks’ car was missing.

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

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, found abandoned in Taylor’s Halt, over 90km away.

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

The woman was in her fifties, her hands and feet had been bound with wire and her head covered with a pillow case.

A source said the woman had been severely beaten and her injuries were recent.

It was the body of Christine Solik.

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

Roger is still missing and police are desperately searching for him and his wife’s killers.

'Shocked and horrified'

The Bend security trustee, Dennis Ngxongo, said everyone living and working on the estate and at the estate’s hotel was “shocked and horrified” at the brutal break-in and murder of Christine. He said the estate was working closely with police to ensure those responsible were caught and brought to justice.

Ngxongo said the intruders had entered the estate through a remote, yet secured gate, that was only used during storms and flooding.

“The gate was securely padlocked, however, police believe that the lock had been broken to gain entrance,” he said.

“The estate has never had anything like this happen before and we are all completely flummoxed.

“They were perfectly harmless and we are concerned that something like this has happened.”

He said the estate had posted guards at every single gate at the estate with more guards patrolling the residential side of the gated community.

“It is so bizarre. We just don’t get such brutal and violent crime such as this in the Midlands.

“Everyone is very upset, however, we are being proactive in protecting the homeowners and the hotel is open to the people living on the estate if they need anything,” he said.

Nottingham Road Land Owners Association chairperson Clive Foss said the organisation was “extremely concerned” about the incident, and sent their sincerest condolences to the Solik family.

Foss said they were working closely with police and local security companies to assist in any way possible.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg  |  crime  |  farm attacks

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