Blood at De Jager's home: copComment on this story
Cape Town - Possible traces of blood were found on the property where teenager Charmaine Mare was dismembered, a policeman told the Western Cape High Court on Monday.
Captain Marius Joubert, of the provincial forensic science biology unit, said he inspected the house in Kraaifontein, Cape Town, on January 16 last year for possible biological evidence.
He was testifying in the trial of 48-year-old Johannes Christiaan de Jager, who has pleaded not guilty to killing Mare in the home he shared with his girlfriend.
Joubert inspected Mare's bedroom, the bathroom opposite her room, the passage leading to the front door, the main bedroom's en-suite bathroom and the drain in front of the garage.
“I searched the areas indicated to me for possible blood, but there was no visible blood,” he told the court.
He then used a chemical reagent used to detect blood stains hidden from the naked eye. This chemical reacts with iron and emits a blue or green light in darkness. As a result, Joubert detected possible blood stains around the house.
Acting Judge Chuma Cossie asked if the chemical reagents used only detected blood.
Joubert replied: “It also reacts with any other iron like rust or copper.”
He collected swabs of these substances from the floor next to the bath, in the passage opposite the bathroom door and on the paving next to the outside drain. He told the court he found a blue towel with possible blood stains on a rail in the en-suite bathroom and swabbed it for analysis.
Mare, an Mpumalanga resident, had been staying at the house during a holiday visit to his girlfriend's daughter.
De Jager previously said he dismembered Mare's corpse in a state of panic after an accidental fatal fall in the bathroom. He stored her body in an upright foetal position in an outside drain at his home that day.
He tried to retrieve her body two days later but struggled, so he cut off her lower arms and legs.
Sakkie Maartens said his client would testify there were body fluids which had leaked as a result of dismembering her body. He asked Joubert if this explained the possible blood stains that were found.
Joubert replied that this was possible.
The trial continues.