Cape Town - Murdered showjumper Meghan Cremer might have been in her car when it passed through a Wynberg roadblock about five hours after her early Saturday evening abduction on August 3.
“A roadblock was held in Wynberg on Saturday, August 3 by the Traffic Service, assisted by the local branch of the SAPS,” confirmed Richard Bosman, executive director of safety and security at the city council. The driver of the vehicle was not deemed to be under the influence and was let go.”
“Who knows what cops would have found if they searched her car or arrested the suspects earlier,” said a search party member. “Maybe she would be alive today if they had.”
During the abduction the suspects allegedly beat the 30-year-old Woodstock Bakery manager in the face so hard that they broke her nose so that she would reveal her bank PINs.
Then for the next two days until their Monday afternoon arrest they allegedly made at least three cash withdrawals from her account. The total amount withdrawn was not revealed although one reliable source says it could be several tens of thousands of rand.
This has emerged from information shared between law enforcement personnel during their frantic search for Cremer, which only ended in the early hours of Thursday morning when a suspect allegedly led police to her body, buried in a Philippi sand mine.
Cremer was found tied up with a rope around her neck.
Later that day, three suspects appeared in the Athlone Magistrate’s Court - Jeremy Sias, 27, and Charles Daniels, 39, both from Egoli informal settlement close to where Cremer lived, and Shiraaz Jaftha, 34, from Lotus River.
All three men have criminal records for theft and assault and Jaftha was out on bail for another murder charge when he was arrested.
They are all believed to be members of the Six Bobs gang.
Sias, a tractor driver on the Vaderlandsche Rietvlei Stables farm in Philippi where Cremer lived and stabled her horses, may have been familiar with her movements and might have even been known to her, said a source who asked not to be named citing safety reasons because of the gang links to the murder.
Officially police are saying nothing but information shared during the search has revealed that Cremer had a visitor at her cottage just minutes before her car was seen leaving the stables at 6.24pm on August 3.
“The visitor said Meghan was her normal self,” said a source. “She said nothing about having to leave the farm.”
About two minutes later, members of the Mohr family, who own the farm, noticed Cremer’s dog running around unattended and tried to alert her. But their calls went unanswered.
According to a private security source, Sias is alleged to have told the police he murdered Cremer in her cottage and then removed her body in her white Knysna-registered Toyota Auris parked about 30m from her cottage.
But this has since been ruled out as the stables were a hive of activity with grooms and showjumpers returning from an event. A later inspection of her cottage also revealed no signs of a struggle. In addition, Sias was captured on CCTV leaving the farm at about 5pm on Saturday. Just how or where Cremer was abducted remains a mystery.
The next CCTV sighting of her car was at 7.02pm at a Shell garage in Strandfontein Road.
At about 11.30pm, it was picked up at a Wynberg roadblock.
Coincidentally, it was made by a Woodstock Bakery colleague of Cremer’s who says he told officials that the three occupants were not the legal owners and that they should search the car boot.
After they declined to take action, he alerted Wynberg police. The Auris was next spotted by an alert resident at 3.15pm on Sunday in Klip Road, Grassy Park. She photographed the car and tried to follow it but lost it in traffic.
It’s also emerged that withdrawals were made from Cremer’s account at Ottery Pick n Pay and Pelican Park Shoprite. One of the final withdrawals was from a Philippi ATM at 6.47pm on August 5.
This raises the possibility that there may be a fourth suspect as by then the three suspects had been arrested.