Homeless Killings: Task team hits the ground running in search for 'nocturnal prowler'

2019-06-19 16:50
The area in Magnolia Park where two bodies were found, one on June 8 and the second on June 9. (Alex Mitchley, News24)

The area in Magnolia Park where two bodies were found, one on June 8 and the second on June 9. (Alex Mitchley, News24)

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The high-level task team deployed to investigate a spate of murders of homeless people in Muckleneuk in Tshwane, hit the ground running on Wednesday.

News24 was in Magnolia Park where two of the bodies were found.

A team of investigators arrived at the park on Wednesday morning where they combed the scene and spoke to one of the homeless men.

They followed up on information and left.

Following the discovery of a fifth body at a bus stop about 400 metres from Unisa's main campus in Muckleneuk on Wednesday, the specialist task team was deployed to investigate.

READ: Homeless killings - Fifth body found in Tshwane, police task team deployed

All five bodies were found in different parts of Muckleneuk in the last month.

The first body was found almost three weeks ago in a veld near the Mears Park train station, in the suburb. Just two weeks later, two more bodies were found in Magnolia Park on June 8 and 9.

Magnolia Park and Mears Park train station are situated close to each other.


Muckleneuk, Magnolia Park, Tshwane, Homeless man

A homeless man sitting on the grass in Magnolia Park, Tshwane, where two bodies were found on June 8 and 9.  (Alex Mitchley, News24)

The fourth body was found on a pavement on the corner of Justice Mohammed and Troye streets on Tuesday morning.

Similarities

Gauteng police spokesperson Brigadier Mathapelo Peters confirmed that all the victims were homeless, middle-age men and that they were murdered at night.

READ MORE: Police discover bodies of two men in Magnolia Park

News24 also understands that all victims were either stabbed, suffered blunt force trauma from a heavy object or injuries inflicted in both manners.

However, post mortems conducted by the task team will conclusively identify the cause of death in each case.

Commenting on the first three bodies, police spokesperson Captain Daniel Mavimbela said preliminary investigations revealed that the deceased also suffered injuries towards the back of their heads.

Priority investigation

Coinciding with the discovery of the fifth body, Gauteng police commissioner Lieutenant General Elias Mawela instructed the high-level task team, comprising forensics specialists, including pathologists and criminal psychologists, Crime Intelligence officers and detectives, to prioritise the investigation.

"Without sowing panic amongst our communities, especially in the Muckleneuk area, we want to caution the public to be vigilant and be aware of this nocturnal prowler preying on the vulnerable," Mawela said.

"Ours, as the police, is to work around the clock and make sure that this madness is brought to an end. For now, we are in the process of getting these homeless people into shelters."

Anyone who has information that may assist police to solve the murders can anonymously contact the Sunnyside police station or call Crime Stop on 08600 10111.

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Read more on:    pretoria  |  magnolia park  |  crime  |  homeless
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