Franziska's murder: what we know so far

By admin
10 March 2016

The tragic death of a teenage girl in Cape Town's Tokai forest has rattled South Africans far beyond the Southern suburbs leafy borders.

The tragic death of a teenage girl in Cape Town's Tokai forest has rattled South Africans far beyond the southern suburbs’ leafy borders.

Franziska Blöchliger went missing after going for a run in the southern suburbs forest in Cape Town with her mother and sister earlier this week. The 16-year-old ran on ahead, promising to meet them in a few minutes.

When she didn’t return and was nowhere to be found, the community rallied a search party to comb the forest.

Franziska’s body was found under the fynbos soon after. It’s believed she was strangled.

"We’re devastated by the loss of our child,” her mother Shireen told EWN shakily. “We cannot begin to grasp how someone could do this.”

“She was beautiful inside and out. We’re totally devastated.”

Read more: ‘Our daughter was ripped out of this world’: devastated parents of slain Tokai teen speak out

We look at the information that has emerged from the investigation thus far.

Franziska's father received a call from her phone after she went missing

As Florian Blöchliger and his wife frantically searched Tokai forest for their missing daughter, his phone rang. It was his Franziska – or at least, someone using her phone.

“On the call she was quiet, but in the background you could hear children crying and screaming – I knew it wasn’t her cry, but wondered where she could be,” the devastated father said.

Read more: Franziska’s father describes awful phone call he received from his daughter’s phone before her body was found

She was badly injured

Earlier reports suggested Franziska had been strangled, but her father alluded to the full extent of her injuries after seeing her body in the mortuary.

"You wouldn't believe what I saw," Florian said.

"They hurt her so bad."

The Swiss-born father of two said she was beaten so badly it looked as if her eyes couldn't open.

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Three men will appear in the Wynberg Magistrate’s Court on Friday in connection with the killing.

Lieutenant Colonel Andre Traut said on Thursday morning they would appear in the Wynberg Magistrate’s Court.

The trio, aged 22 to 27, were arrested on Tuesday night and detained for questioning.

Read more: Three men to appear in court on Friday for Franziska’s murder

A fourth will appear for 'suspected stolen property'

Traut said another man was set to appear in the Wynberg Magistrate’s Court on Friday.

He did not confirm whether the charge was linked to Franziska’s iPhone.

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The community helped police catch the suspects

Three Westlake residents who allegedly tried to sell Franziska's stolen iPhone were arrested with the help of the community.

Dave Barnes, general manager of the Westlake United Church Trust (WUCT), said rumours about the iPhone being peddled began surfacing after the teen’s murder on Monday afternoon.

It was understood that the trio then allegedly approached a foreign national on Tuesday to sell him the phone for R200.

“He switched it on to make sure it worked, the locating signal went off and police picked it up.”

Officers tracked down the men with the help of residents and they were arrested on Tuesday night.

Barnes said there were very few secrets in the close knit community of Westlake Village.

“Criminals or baddies are generally known to community members.”

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Forensics expert David Klatzow has been roped into the investigation

Renowned forensic science expert Dr David Klatzow looks set to lend his skilled hand in the investigation.

Klatzow confirmed on Wednesday that he had been approached regarding Franziska’s murder.

“The family have been in contact yesterday [Tuesday],” he said.

Klatzow has more than 28 years’ experience and has investigated over 2 000 cases ranging from criminal matters to civil disputes, including the murders of mining magnate Brett Kebble and the Gugulethu 7.

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The family was offering a R100 000 reward to find the perpetrators

After seeing his daughter's body in the mortuary, Florian confirmed that the reward offered to find the perpetrators had been increased from R50 000 to R100 000, with help from the help of friends and companies.

“The way my daughter looks, I am sure they did some horrible things with her," Florian said in an interview with News24Live.

"And for that, I am sure they are not the smartest so let’s hope they catch them.”

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The family hope to have a funeral on Friday

If Franziska’s body is released from the mortuary on time, family and friends will pay tribute to the Constantia Waldorf School learner on Friday evening.

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