'Arrest brings little comfort' says Wentworth family after woman is partially burnt and buried in shallow grave
DURBAN - THE arrest of a man in connection with the brutal murder of a Wentworth woman, has brought little comfort for her family still piecing together the events leading up to her death.
Police yesterday excavated the body of Melissa Charlene Dedericks's, almost three weeks after she was believed to have been murdered. Just hours before, a 19-year-old man walked through the doors of the Wentworth police station where he reportedly confessed to the crime.
KwaZulu-Natal police spokesperson, Captain Nqobile Gwala, said the 19-year-old claimed that he had committed the murder on March 11.
"He reported that he buried the body of a woman on Engelbrecht Road in Wentworth. The Wentworth police immediately responded and the suspect took the police to the said placed where he pointed where he buried the body. The police officers from the Durban Search and Rescue together with other role players were also alerted and summoned to the scene. A slightly burnt body of a 39-year-old woman was excavated from the shallow grave by the police officers from the SAPS Search and Rescue Unit," Gwala said.
She said a post-mortem will be conducted to determine the woman's cause of death.
"The victim was reported missing at Wentworth SAPS on March 21. The suspect was placed under arrest for murder. He is due to appear before the Durban Magistrates’ Court tomorrow for murder," Gwala said.
Dedericks's sister, Lerisa, said the family was heartbroken.
"We were searching for her all over. Yesterday, we were told that her body was found in my granny's yard. We thought she was lying on the ground but when we got to Engelbrecht Road, we saw lots of police cars and people standing around. Police were digging up her body. An officer said they received a tip off that her body was buried there," she said.
It is alleged that Dedericks had been sitting in the yard and smoking with two guys who rent space on her grandmother's property when a fight broke out and Dedericks was killed.
Lerisa said the her sister's body had also been partially burnt.
"My sister was such a loving, bubbly person. She was a playful person and loved her nephews. She was so humble and always shared everything with us," she said.