Durban – The family and neighbours of a Phoenix couple have expressed shock after their decomposing bodies were found in their bedroom this week.
It is suspected Prakash Singh and his wife Shoba Hariparsad, both 50, were murdered. A man known to them has been arrested.
Neighbours realised they had not seen the couple for almost a week, but said they had no idea they were lying dead in their home until their bodies were discovered on Monday.
Police are waiting for post-mortem results to determine the cause of their deaths.
According to Glen Naidoo of KZN VIP Unit – a private security company – the couple were found after Hariparsad’s brother Rajen returned to their home on Monday after trying to visit on Sunday.
Neither Rajen nor the couple’s neighbours had been able to reach them by phone.
A neighbour, Raj Mayalal, said he had known Singh and Hariparsad for more than 25 years and had seen them on a regular basis.
Mayalal and his wife had called out to the couple last week, but thought they were not home because the doors and windows were closed.
On Sunday they banged on the driveway gate and again called out to them, but there was no answer.
Also on that day, Rajen tried to visit but was unsuccessful.
He called out for the couple and threw stones on their roof to get their attention, but left when there was no answer.
He returned on Monday when a man known to him emerged and told him the couple had gone on a holiday.
Neighbours said Rajen had a strange feeling because Singh, who had a stroke a year ago, did not want to go anywhere.
Rajen climbed over the fence and walked around the property.
Peering through a window, he saw his brother sprawled on a bed and called the police. Officers found Hariparsad on the floor when they got into the house.
The 20-year-old man, who was wearing a bloodstained shirt when arrested, was alleged to have been sleeping in the house with the bodies.
Police spokesperson Colonel Thembeka Mbhele said there were bloodstains splattered around the home.
Phoenix police are investigating two cases of murder.
Naidoo said he was shocked by the incident. He had known Singh, a motor mechanic and former police reservist, well. Hariparsad was a retired accountant.
“Thrice a week we transported Hariparsad with us shopping because they had no car, and Singh was ill. We shared special occasions and memories together,” said Mayalal.
Another neighbour said he thought he heard gunshots last week, but dismissed it as noise from a storm.