Youth leader Jesse Hess won radio prize hours before she and grandfather were murdered

UWC student Jesse Hess. (Facebook)
UWC student Jesse Hess. (Facebook)

Jesse Hess, 19, had sounded excited and hopeful about winning a competition on a radio show. She could now spoil her grandparents and aunt who took her in. Hours later, she and her grandfather were found murdered in their Parow home.

The first-year theology student at the University of the Western Cape had won R5 000 on Aden Thomas' Heart 104.9FM breakfast show on Friday.

In a clip which the radio station shared, Hess said she had been saving money to do something special for her relatives at the end of the year.

"They are very special to me because they took me in when I was in high school already, and they have been looking after me. They work so hard and are sacrificing so much for me," she told listeners.

On Friday evening, police officers found her body and that of her 85-year-old grandfather Chris at their flat in Victoria Street.

He was reportedly found tied up in the toilet, and Jesse found on a bed, Netwerk24 reported.

"A post-mortem will be conducted to determine the cause of death. Detectives are following up on all leads to solve the case," Captain FC van Wyk said at the time.

Her father Lance Hess told Netwerk24 that, about 30 minutes after she had won the radio competition, he had tried to phone her to congratulate her, but her phone was off.

'Beaten, broken and brutalised'

He said the family didn't believe that her windfall had any connection to her murder.

An emotional Thomas remembered the young woman's phone call to his show.

"She died beaten, broken and brutalised, but I am glad that for just one last moment on Friday, there was a chance for her light to shine for everybody to see," he said.

"I suppose when people die, they say rest in peace... but I have every reason to believe she has risen in incredible glory and has taken her place among the angels."

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