Century City corpse ‘was packed in a hole’
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Cape Town - Tramping through the bush and mud next to Century City station with only a torch for light, the Metro EMS paramedic walked past the body.
A policeman had to call him back, behind the outcrop of a sandy hill, where the bloated, maggot-infested corpse of a young woman lay in the dirt.
The paramedic, who wants to remain anonymous, was called out to make an official declaration of death for the body of a woman found in the now infamous field of vegetation between Century City and Acacia Park railway stations.
The bodies of six women – allegedly all of the same race and age group – have been found naked and tied up in the area this year. The two most recent discoveries were on Friday, and the previous Saturday.
All the bodies were badly decomposed, and have not yet been identified.
For the city paramedic, who was called to the field late on Friday, October 10, just seeing one of the victim’s bodies was enough motivation to start a campaign for action around the case.
“I deal with a lot of declarations. I see a lot of bodies. In this job you get to a point where it’s the norm. But to be very honest, it was the worst declaration I’ve ever been asked to do. I almost vomited...”
The body had been “packed in a hole”, bloated as a result of the decomposition, and was covered in maggots. There was a clear head injury.
“The body had obviously been there for a while. There were maggots, but there was no smell. If a body doesn’t smell anymore, it’s been there a while.”
While the City of Cape Town has reported that all of the bodies were found naked and tied up, the paramedic does not remember this particular corpse being bound in any way.
Standing around the ambulance afterwards, completing paperwork, police officers told the paramedic it wasn’t the first body found in the area – or even the second.
“Then police started telling us a few of the other bodies have been burnt,” he said.
“This body was hidden, but with the intention of dumping it in a spot that I’m sure the (killer) knew very well. I think if they search that area properly they are going to find more.”
Police are still refusing to brand the crimes the work of a serial killer, although they are investigating a link between the bodies.
Police spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel André Traut said: “During our investigation we will look at all possibilities as well as a link with other bodies found in the same area this year, but we will not be able to come to premature conclusions regarding these multiple murders.”
Traut also said the police’s tally of bodies found in the area was five, not six as has been widely reported, including by the City of Cape Town.
Mayor Patricia de Lille announced on Sunday that the city was offering a R50 000 reward to anyone who could help the police in finding the killer. “Every life lost to murder is a loss too many. The lives of these six young females have been cut short in senseless acts of brutality. We condemn these murders in the strongest terms possible. There is no place in our society for individuals who enact such violent cruelty.”
De Lille appealed to the public to come forward with any information by contacting their nearest police station, calling Crime Stop at 0800 1011, or texting Crimeline at 32211.