Blood spatters on a wall in a dingy closet-like room in a city parking garage mark the violent murder of Kristina Gebhardt, who was beaten to death and then dumped in the boot of her car.
The German woman, who had been living in Cape Town for more than five years, would have turned 28 on Friday.
Gebhardt's bloodstained body was found in the boot of her Fiat Uno on Wednesday night.
Her hands had been bound with electrical wire, believed to have been taken from supplies belonging to a company contracted to do renovations to a building on the corner of Loop and Bloem streets in the city centre.
Police are waiting for the results of the post mortem to determine whether she was raped.
A police source revealed that one of her alleged assailants had been found driving her car in his boxer shorts and a blood-soaked T-shirt.
Gerbhardt had worked part-time shifts at the Baobab book store just metres away from where she was beaten to death.
Her employer, Julie Aitchison, told the Cape Argus she had been approached by a security guard last week and told she could use the Bloem Street basement parking.
It had been agreed that she would pay the guard R20 a day.
The book store owner had offered the parking bay to Gebhardt in her absence.
A police source said that on the day of Gebhardt's murder, an argument had allegedly ensued between Gebhardt and a security guard over the R20 payment for the parking.
The guard, arrested after Gebhardt's body was found in her car, which he had been driving, lived in a musty little room at the entrance of the basement parking lot.
Police said they were looking for two other day-shift guards.
It is believed that they had been present when the alleged argument between Gebhardt and the guard took place.
The three are alleged to have kept her captive in the little room where they allegedly bound her hands, beat her and possibly raped her.
Inside the room was a single mattress, a French tutorial, a prayer mat and prayer books. A pair of jeans was still hanging on the back of the door.
A few bloodstains were splattered against the faded cream wallpaper.
When members of a Central Improvement District (CID) patrol pulled over the driver of Gebhardt's Fiat Uno on Wednesday night, the back seats of the car had been dropped.
Her body was found shoved into the enlarged boot space.
Gebhardt's laptop computer and cellphone were missing but her wallet was still on her battered body.
More than an hour after she left work, Gebhardt's boyfriend had called her on her cellphone and had also tried the bookstore, but to no avail.
He then drove to a Loop Street coffee shop where the couple had often gone, hoping to find her there.
Instead, he had seen her green Fiat Uno being driven by a stranger, prompting him to launch himself at the car in an attempt to stop it.
The CID patrol, who had witnessed his desperate rescue attempt, had come to his aid and had forced the car to stop.
Aitshison labelled the murder a "tragic loss and waste of life".
She said she had met the "bubbly" Gebhardt through friends and had occasionally asked her to mind the book store while she was out.
"I can't begin to imagine what her family is experiencing in Germany," Aitshison said.
Another friend, Fuad Matthews, described Gebhardt as a vibrant person.
Matthews, who celebrated his birthday yesterday, said: "I wondered why she wasn't calling me. I was going to send her flowers for her birthday today.
"You could not have found a more beautiful person, inside and out. It's really not cool for any human being to experience what she did.
"Cape Town is not going to be the same again."
Police said they had very few leads because they were having difficulty identifying the two alleged accomplices and had no addresses for the men, who are still on the run.
Police spokeswoman Inspector Carin Loock said the suspect would face a murder charge when he appeared in the Cape Town Magistrate's Court on Monday.
No further arrests have been made.
Wednesday, 26 August 2009
Another little taste of what is in store at the 2010 World Cup as a European is possibly raped and brutally killed in South Africa for no reason at all: