Editor's note: Details in this story may upset sensitive readers.
- Meghan Cremer was killed with a soft blue ribbon wound six times around her neck.
- Pathologist Dr Gavin Kirk also found she sustained blunt force trauma to her head.
- In the days before her body was pointed out by murder accused Jeremy Sias, she also sustained injuries believed to have been caused by rodents.
A soft blue ribbon was wound six times around Meghan Cremer's neck, coiled so tightly it would have likely caused her to lose consciousness within 12 to 25 seconds.
"But for death to result, it would probably have taken approximately three to five minutes," testified pathologist Dr Gavin Kirk who conducted the post-mortem.
In scientific detail on Thursday, Kirk told the Western Cape High Court of his findings after his analysis of 29-year-old Cremer's remains on 12 August 2019, four days after she was found dead in Philippi.
He determined she had died by ligature strangulation. The ribbon was also used to restrain her wrists.
Kirk also noted injuries - including abrasions to her nose, left cheek and forehead – believed to have been caused by blunt force trauma.
This could have been inflicted by either a blow to the head or the front of the head striking something, he testified.
This would possibly explain the bruising around her eyes as well as dried blood found in her nasal passages and around her mouth, Kirk said.
Cremer went missing on 3 August 2019 and her body was discovered on 8 August 2019, when murder accused Jeremy Sias led police to her remains, which he had dumped on a farm in Olieboom Road, Philippi.
He claimed to have taken her Toyota Auris for a joyride from Vaderlandsche Rietvlei Farm, where he worked, and Cremer lived, and ostensibly later found her body in the boot of the car.
Sias denied killing her, alleging he had feared he would be blamed for her murder.
And as she lay in the farmlands in Olieboom Road, for what is believed to have been five days, animals had started gnawing on her body.
Her ear was completely gone as a result of the injuries - usually caused by rats, cats or dogs - as well as to her cheek and near her mouth, Kirk said.
According to him, the nature was in keeping with injuries caused by rodents.
The time or date of her death could not be determined as her body had been refrigerated prior to the examination, Kirk said, although he estimated it to be between three days and a week.
This owing to the absence of rigor mortis, which on average disappeared after about three days, he testified. There had also been no overt signs of decomposition.
Last week, Sias pleaded not guilty to Cremer's murder, as well as aggravated robbery, defeating the administration of justice, and theft relating to the use of her bank cards after she was killed.
The trial continues.
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