Hluleka Reserve murder: Survivor recalls moment two men attacked him, killed pregnant wife - family

2019-09-18 12:23
Matthew and Karen Turner. (Facebook)

Matthew and Karen Turner. (Facebook)

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A man who survived a stabbing at the Hluleka Reserve on the Wild Coast, in which his pregnant wife died, has told a relative that he is able to recall that two men stabbed them while they were in bed, the relative said on Wednesday.

Karen Turner, 33, was killed in the early hours of Tuesday morning and her husband Matthew was stabbed several times in the stomach and rushed to hospital, her older brother Ian Crouch said.

The details of the incident remain uncertain.

However, Crouch told News24 that he managed to speak to Matthew after he came out of surgery at a Pietermaritzburg hospital on Tuesday night.

"His recollection was that he was woken up by being stabbed in the stomach. There was a guy on his side of the bed stabbing him in the stomach and the other chap was stabbing my sister," said Crouch.

"He said he did manage to sort of grab the guy and there was a bit of a tussle down the stairs. After that, he doesn't have any recollection."

Crouch said his sister - who was a locum teacher at Underberg Primary School - had been about three months pregnant and celebrated her birthday on Monday.

He said the couple - with their 23-month-old-son - had been on their way to a wedding and had taken the week off to spend some time together. Their friends were staying in a chalet next door.

"They had arrived there that day. It was a long day and they were shattered."

According to police spokesperson Captain Dineo Koena, the neighbour heard loud noises in the early hours of the morning and went to knock on the door.

'An absolute bloodbath'

"The husband opened the door and he was bleeding. The wife was dead on her back," Koena said.

"There was no sign of forced entry and everything inside the house was upside down. It was not like a robbery because no valuables were taken."

Crouch said they were on the scene before the police.

"It is true, there was no forced entry but the big sliding door off the balcony was open and all the windows were open and on latches. You're in a holiday resort. Anyone could have entered," he said.

"It was an absolute bloodbath. You can see it started upstairs in the bedroom."

He said nothing appeared to have been taken and the couple's cellphones were next to the bed.

The family was trying to establish whether she had left her cooler bag with medicine at home or whether that was potentially taken.

"My sister was very down to earth, very grounded. They had just moved into a new house on the farm which they had done up together," said Crouch.

Police said there were no suspects at this stage.

Koena said the husband was still in ICU.

"He (the husband) is the only person who will lead us to who did this," said Koena.

Parks agency 'shocked'

Eastern Cape Parks and Tourism Agency (ECPTA) CEO Vuyani Dayimani said they were shocked by what had happened and were doing everything in their power to assist with the investigation "as the safety and security of our guests remains a key priority".

The couple had made a booking at the reserve from Monday until Thursday, according to the agency.

Dayimani said they understood how dire this ordeal was for the families affected and sympathised, as emotions ran high while the investigation progressed.

He encouraged members of the public, including staff members, to contact the police if they had any information.

The ECPTA sent its condolences to loved ones of the couple.

*This story has been updated to include ECPTA comment.

Read more on:    east london  |  crime

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