Shock in wake of burnt body found in Diep River

Crime scene tape fluttering in the wind, a cardboard cross, dead flowers and a pile of ash are all that remain as a grisly reminder of a woman burnt beyond recognition.

Crime scene tape fluttering in the wind, a cardboard cross, dead flowers and a pile of ash are all that remain as a grisly reminder of a woman burnt beyond recognition on Thursday February 22 at about 10pm.

Residents drove along the dirt track beneath trees between the station and railway houses. They expressed shock at what happened and speculated if the woman is the same person who was reported missing on the same day.

Commuters say they regularly use the station and have heard that the rail security guard who was on duty is in shock.

On Tuesday February 27, SAPS spokesperson, Lieutenant-Colonel André Traut, said they cannot yet confirm the identity of the body. “We are awaiting feedback from forensics in terms of the post mortem reports. Detectives are also currently reviewing video footage and other possible evidence. No arrests have been made as of yet,” he told the Bulletin.

A middle-aged man in blue shorts is apparently the key to unravelling the circumstances.

Diep River police spokesperson, Captain Zak Marais, said the vehicle was on fire when the police arrived in Massinger Street and the woman was “burnt beyond recognition”.

At about 6pm on the same day someone opened a missing person report at Diep River police station. Gill Packham, 57, had not been seen since she left home in Riesling Road, The Vines, Constantia, at 7am in her dark green BMW 3 series, registration 904 530.

She was on her way to work at Springfield Convent High School in Wynberg where she was a junior secretary. Ms Packham did not arrive at work. A Pink Ladies Missing Adult alert was sent out – Pink Ladies helps search for missing people.

On Monday, Springfield Convent liaison officer, Penny Boock, said she has been asked by the headmistress and the family not to discuss Ms Packham.

Ms Packham previously worked as a holiday letting agent and has two daughters, Kerry Anne and Nicola and husband Rob.

Despite requests to the South African Police Services for further information nothing was forthcoming at the time of going to print.

Anyone with information can contact Detective Captain Rean Naicker on 021 710
7345.