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Missing Eastern Cape woman found dead, ex-husband charged with murder

Desiree Baartman has been found deceased. Picture: SAPS

Desiree Baartman has been found deceased. Picture: SAPS

Published Jun 21, 2023


Durban - An Eastern Cape woman who was last seen on June 9 has been found dead.

Police said the body of Desiree Baartman was recovered on Tuesday night in a storm water drain next to Standford Road near the Jagtersvlakte area.

“At about 9pm on Tuesday night SAPS Betheldorp detectives with the assistance of the K9 Search and Rescue and Diving Unit recovered the victim’s body which was thrown down a 3.7 metre storm water drain,” provincial police spokesperson Colonel Priscilla Naidu said.

“An autopsy will be done to determine the exact cause of death.”

Police said Baartman had left her home in Nagel Street, Extention 29, Bethelsdorp at around 10am on June 9 and never returned.

She was reported missing on June 14 at the Bethelsdorp SAPS after friends and family were unable to trace her.

Naidu said it is alleged that Baartman and her ex-husband Johnny Baartman had lived in the same home despite their divorce.

The past weekend SAPS forensic experts conducted an investigation at the house for any evidence and based on their preliminary analysis, the husband was detained for further questioning.

Johnny Baartman was initially charged with attempted murder.

The charges have now been changed to murder and defeating the ends of justice.

The 58-year-old is expected to make another appearance in the Gqeberha Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday.