Cape Town - The family of Linda Mohr, a close friend of murdered Meghan Cremer, have been receiving death threats as they grapple with their grief over a young woman who was like a daughter to them and “loved by everyone”.
“Meghan was a wonderful person,” said Mohr, who manages a riding school at Vaderlandsche Rietvlei Stables in Philippi.
“She was close to all of us. She was family. She would bring us chocolate croissants and other goodies twice a week from Woodstock Bakery, where she worked. She was always checking up if we were okay.
“On our birthdays, every single one of us would get a present. And on Mother’s Day I’d get flowers. This is such a waste of a good life and, for me, it’s like losing one of my own children.”
Show jumper Cremer, 30, was abducted last Saturday from the farm where she lived and stabled her horses and, following an extensive search, was found dead on Thursday in a Philippi sand mine.
Three local men, one of them known to Meghan and the farm owners, later appeared in Athlone Magistrate’s Court charged with murder and theft.
The death threats were directed at Mohr’s son, Grant. “He got death threats because some stranger who doesn’t know us picked up that he is Facebook friends with one of the suspects, Jeremy Sias. Grant is horrified what people are saying. He hasn’t got a bad bone in his body and they’re spreading lies on Facebook saying he’s a suspect and a murderer. One guy posted that if he ever saw Grant in public he would kill him. For what? How can someone say this when we are all reeling from Meghan’s tragic and horrific death? She was like a daughter and a sister to us.”
Sias grew up and worked on the adjoining farm of Mohr’s father-in-law.
“He is three months younger than my eldest daughter who was one of Meghan’s close friends. He played with my kids. So this is a devastating shock. We cannot comprehend it. Our people on the farm just don’t do that.”
The farm workers were also “devastated” that someone with ties to the farm has been charged with Meghan’s murder, said Mohr.
“They are busy getting trauma counselling. They say the suspect casts a bad light on all of them. It’s like they are feeling blamed because of the connection. One worker broke down and had to be medicated. It’s not just our family who are shattered by this.”
Mohr said Meghan, originally from Knysna, had come into their lives about five years ago while looking for suitable stables for her horse. At the time she had been studying for a microbiology master’s degree at UCT.
About a year later, she moved into a cottage a few hundred metres from the main farmhouse.
“She loved the peace and quiet of the farm,” said Mohr.
“She adored the environment, the horses and our other animals. It was the perfect setting for her and, like the rest of the family, she felt perfectly safe here. We have never had a crime problem here. I and everyone else can ride this 49 hectares alone. We do it all the time. That’s why this is such a shock.”
Mohr said Meghan had blossomed on the farm and quickly gravitated towards the Mohr family. She and the eldest Mohr daughter, Nichola, became close friends and she bonded with many of her fellow riders, counting several of them as her good friends.
“This is the hardest thing I’ve ever had to write,” reads the Facebook tribute by Nichola, show-jumping in Germany. “I still can’t see through the tears and I don’t know how I’m going to carry on without you. You were like a sister to me and I will miss you every single day.
“There are no words to describe how devastated I am. You were the last person who deserved this and I wish you could see how many lives you’ve impacted and how many people care about you.
“I’ve never had a friend like you and I don’t think I ever will your WhatsApp messages meant the world to me and always made me smile. I loved coming to your house for movies, cake and tea. I loved our Harry Potter marathons (obsessions) and how much we had in common. You always said we were like the same person.
“There was so much we still had planned on our bucket list and I’ve started crying again remembering you won’t be able to do them I can’t believe you’re gone. I’m sorry I never got to say goodbye and it’s really hard to think I never will. I hope wherever you are you can feel how much you meant to me and I’ll be thinking of you every day.”
After riding at the farm on Thursday, Danielle Steyn described Cremer as a caring person who would go out of her way to help anyone.
“She was one of those people who no matter how busy she was, was always there for us,” said Steyn, who was also friends with Meghan.
“I can’t accept that Meghan has gone. I keep expecting her to walk around the corner.”