'Tupperware' knife used in Suncoast dune murders
Kresen Chandiah, 24, a tiler, was found dead on the dunes with a pink-handled Tupperware knife still in his stomach.
The cover of the knife was found near his foot. Lying bloodied next to him was Fathima Bee Bee Muhammad, 50, unemployed.
Muhammad, a mother of two, sustained multiple stab wounds to her upper body.
Their bodies were found by a vagrant, who was collecting plastic and cardboard. He called the police.
A source close to the investigation, who asked not to be identified, said the families of the two had confirmed they were romantically involved. What could not be verified was how long they were in a relationship.
Both lived in Montford, Chatsworth, within walking distance of each other.
On the day of the killings, Chandiah left home at 11am without his cellphone. It is believed he met Muhammad and they boarded a taxi to the Durban city centre. What followed thereafter is still the subject of police investigations.
However, a source close to the investigation said police were looking into the possibility that Muhammad was also in a relationship with a 38-year-old man. She was apparently seeing the man for over a year.
Police are trying to establish if jealousy could have been a possible motive for the killing.
The source said a cover for the knife was found near Chandiah’s foot.
His cellphone was sent for testing. Police are hoping it would unlock information that would give them more insight into the events leading up to the stabbing.
Initially, police said they were investigating a double murder.
On Monday that changed to a murder-suicide. It implied that one killed the other before taking his or her own life.
Police spokesperson, Jay Naicker, said an inquest docket, as well as a murder case, was opened. This, he said, was as a result of evidence gathered during the course of the investigation as well as the post-mortem, conducted last week.
Muhammad’s mother, who did not want to be named, said: “There is no use talking now... my baby is gone.”
However, her nephew, Nazir Hoosen, said they believed it was a murder-suicide.
“One of her daughters knew she was in a relationship but did not know who the man was. We want closure. The family is now waiting for the outcome of the police investigation.”
Chandiah’s cousin, Jaya Reddy, confirmed the knife was taken from the home.
“His mom used to sell Tupperware. It was their kitchen knife. We don’t know why he took it.
“It has been a week since this death and we are still puzzled by all that has happened.”
Reddy said they were upset that police were investigating a murder-suicide.
“The family does not believe he would take his own life or that of someone else. Kresen was a religious man. He lived his life by our Hindu scriptures. Those scriptures speak against violence, murder, and suicide.”
Since the age of 5, Chandiah has been a member of the Anbumalar Kootum Raam Bhajan group.
“Investigations are still under way. Police are exploring all avenues. Right now we cannot speculate what happened. We are just awaiting the results of the investigation,” said Reddy.