Three held for teen’s murder in Tokai
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Cape Town - Western Cape police on Wednesday said that three suspects had been arrested in connection with the murder of 16-year-old Franziska Blöchliger in popular Tokai Forest in Cape Town.
“Three suspects between the ages of 22 and 27 are being detained for questioning in connection with the murder of Franziska Blochliger after their arrest last (on Tuesday) night,” Western Cape police spokesperson Andrè Traut said on Wednesday.
“The circumstances surrounding the case are still under investigation and no further information can be released at this stage.”
Also read: We want Franziska’s killer to rot in jail’
Earlier on Wednesday Franziska’s father Florian Blöchliger offered a reward of R50 000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of her killers.
Franziska’s body was found by police and Kirstenhof Crime Watch in Dennedal Road on Monday just hours after she had been reported missing. She was robbed of her iPhone and her mother’s red tracking watch. It is alleged the stolen cellphone was last tracked to an area in Westlake. However, police could not confirm this.
Florian Blöchliger said on Wednesday morning he had offered the large reward to anyone who comes forward with information that leads to an arrest and conviction of the perpetrator, or perpetrators.
“I’m thinking the guys who did this will sit and brag about what they did, and when someone sees the reward, he may report it to the police,” he said.
Constantia ward councillor Penny East said other people had offered to contribute to the reward because they were deeply touched by the murder and wanted to help.
Franziska was last seen jogging on a path alongside Tokai Forest where she and her mother had been waiting for her 11-year-old sister’s school bus, at around 3pm on Monday.
Her mother Shireen Blöchliger said: “She decided to go on a jog, but did not want to take the dog with her, saying it would slow her down. We had arranged to meet back at the spot in 25 minutes.”
The teen was killed about 150 metres from where her mother had been waiting. At around 3.30pm, a panicking Shireen Blöchliger called her husband informing him Franziska had not made it to the “meeting spot”.
Upon Florian’s arrival, the couple and their 11-year-old daughter carried out a 30-minute search around the forest.
Florian said on Tuesday night that during the search he received a call from her cellphone. “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,” he said.
At around 4pm the family reported her missing and the search for the teen had intensified by police, neighbourhood watches and a helicopter.
According to police she had been strangled, but an autopsy, due to be completed on Wednesday, will determine the cause of death.
The distraught mother said when the body was found and they had seen an ambulance nearby, she thought her “baby” was still alive.
“We thought she was alive, but a little bit hurt or something, we didn’t think she was gone,” she sobbed.
The family did not see Franziska’s body, but the news was delivered to them by a trauma counsellor.
“She was the most unbelievable daughter, she didn’t do drugs, didn’t party. She loved her sports and surfing,” her mother said.
The teen had dual citizenship and was due to go on a three-month school exchange programme to Switzerland, the country where her father’s from.
Cape Argus and ANA