Missing woman found dead on Barrydale hiking trail

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  • A 66-year-old woman who did not come home from a walk was found dead on a hiking trail in Barrydale early on Tuesday morning.  
  • Erna Gericke went for a walk on Sunday, and was reported missing when she did not come home. 
  • Southern Cape Police do not suspect foul play at this point, but have arrested two people for the alleged theft of the woman's vehicle. 

A 66-year-old woman was found dead on a hiking trail in Barrydale early on Monday morning.  

Southern Cape police Captain Malcolm Pojie said Erna Gericke was reported missing on Sunday when she did not come home from her walk.  

She left at 14:00, leaving her car in the parking area for hikers near Rondomskrik in Barrydale.  

When she did not return home around 18:00, her husband reported her as missing to the authorities 

A search was launched with police units and local residents in an attempt to find her.  

She was found between 02:00 and 03:00 on Monday morning, by a search party which included her daughter, about five to 6km into the Waterfall Hiking Trail.  

READ | Man's body found following hike in Cape Town nature reserve

Gericke had been badly injured, and paramedics who arrived on the scene later, declared her dead. 

Police do not suspect any foul play, although an autopsy will be conducted.  

However, her car was also missing from the parking area, with shattered glass residue indicating that it might have been stolen. 

Police spread the word and the vehicle was found abandoned behind a hill near Tradouw Hoek.  

After that, an 18-year-old and a 24-year-old from a farm in the area were arrested.  

One had the spare keys of the Citroen on them.  

The two suspects are expected to appear in the Barrydale Magistrate's Court on Wednesday to face charges of vehicle theft.  

The provincial police management commended the joint integrated effort by the police and residents from the farm watch, in finding Gericke, and her vehicle.

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