Cape Town - A man has described the horror of finding his sister dead, trapped between burglar bars after she allegedly tried to burgle their own home.
It is believed Melanie Peters, 30, had suffocated to death.
The “troubled” mother of a seven-year-old boy was unemployed and was believed to have had a drug problem.
Her brother, Christopher Peters, arrived at their Kewtown, Athlone, home from work at 5pm on Wednesday to find Melanie at the window at the separate entrance at the back of the house.
Christopher lived with his mother, his sister and her son in the main house.
He says he could not sleep after finding his sister that way.
“I had arrived home from work and pulled my car into the garage. When I got out, I saw Melanie, blue in the face and stuck there in the bars, her eyes still open. I will never forget the complete horror.”
Melanie’s body was badly bruised from trying to free herself from the bars.
“I called the police, but they did not immediately respond, so I went to go fetch them at the Athlone Police Station to help me,” adds Christopher.
Police say a Shoprite bag containing stolen items belonging to Christopher were found on a chair near the body.
Christopher revealed his sister had dealt with many personal difficulties, but refused to confirm that she abused drugs.
“My sister has been troubled for many years. She had issues, but she also had a good heart. Everyone knew her, and she was loved by all,” says Christopher. “Most importantly, no matter what was happening with her life, she took care of her son. He has never wanted for anything, even as Melanie struggled with her problems, he flourished in school and is a great boy.”
According to a neighbour, Melanie had been addicted to drugs.
“She was not a bad person, but the drugs had taken over her life and had made her do anything, even steal from her own family to get her next fix. I feel so bad for her family,” the neighbour said.
Station Commander for Athlone police, Colonel Mark Adonis, confirmed the incident: “This office confirms the body of a 30-year-old woman was found by her brother on Wednesday afternoon."
"It is alleged by the brother of the deceased that she had broken into the separate entrance, and had taken items she had wanted to steal. An inquest docket has been opened.”