A Breidbach man who allegedly killed his wife and hid her body under the bed for five days is on the run after he managed to flee from police during questioning at his Gaat home yesterday.
The partly decomposed body of 30-year-old Carmelitta King Baatjies was discovered by King William’s Town police who kicked down the door and found the woman’s stabbed body hidden under the bed.
The 31-year-old man allegedly stabbed his wife after they had argued about him selling her 2002 Volkswagen Polo Classic without consent.
The gruesome discovery was made thanks to the instincts of Baatjies’ best friend Michelle Quillie, 33, who said she knew everything about the couple’s problematic marriage.
She said Baatjies had recently obtained protection orders against the allegedly abusive husband, as well as his mother and two sisters.
Baatjies was supporting her unemployed husband with her salary she earned a King William’s Town furniture shop, Quillie said.
Quillie said she became suspicious of the husband as he did not join the search party for her wife who had been missing for five days.
“They had a big fight at 5.30 on Saturday morning after he sold the car. He was demanding the papers for the car which Carmelitta stashed away so the transfer of ownership cannot happen because she disapproved of the sale,” Quillie said.
Following a five-day search Quillie said she decided to go to the police station yesterday after her suspicions of the husband grew stronger.
“I went to the police station and told them that I suspect the husband because while everyone was concerned, he was not. He never took part in the searches and never seemed worried,” she said.
Qullie said she got more annoyed with the husband’s irresponsibility after she heard that he sold his wife’s Nokia Asha phone on Monday while she was still missing.
“He turned the house into a construction site by removing big stones and I knew he was planning on burying something,” Quillie said.
The deceased is from Fynbos in East London. She relocated to King William’s Town after getting married to the suspect five years ago.
By 6pm yesterday, police officers and forensic experts were still working on the crime scene while hundreds of horrified community members watched.
The suspect was allegedly addicted to Tik (crystal methamphetamine).
Asked to describe the character of the suspect who was known for his quiet nature, neighbour Desmond Coetzeer, 50, used an Afrikaans expression: “stille waters, diepe grond onder draai die duiwel rond [still waters runs deep and that is where the devil roams].
“This is shocking for the entire community,” he said.
King William’s Town Police spokeswoman Captain Siphokazi Mawisa confirmed they were investigating a murder case.
She said the suspect was still at large. — firstname.lastname@example.org