Durban – One of the men accused of killing Bluff resident Delores Ireland, 77, has been found dead in the holding cells at Brighton Beach police station on Friday.
Police had been rounding up detained people in the holding cells when they came across the accused. Police sources have confirmed that he died but the cause of death is being investigated.
Clothing and black plastic bags had been placed over Ireland’s body in the laundry room. Her son Sean Ireland and a friend went to the home in Grafton Street on the Bluff when she could not be contacted.
They found her body at 6pm on Tuesday.
Brighton Beach police are investigating the cause of her death. Ireland was found with her hands tied and showed signs of being strangled said police spokesperson Colonel Thembeka Mbele.
“The victim’s tenants saw suspicious activities in the yard from September 18. The tenants were seen loading goods belonging to the victim. After they left the premises, the victim was never seen again,” said Mbele.
“A case of murder and robbery was opened at Brighton Beach police station for further investigation. Through hard work, the police officers traced and arrested the suspects.”
The two men charged were expected to appear in the Durban Magistrate’s Court on Friday.
A close friend, who did not want to be named, said she noted something amiss when she went to the house on Monday. She said items that Ireland never moved were out of place.
The friend asked a man on the premises of her whereabouts. He told her that Ireland had been taken to an old-age home and that he was hired to renovate the house.
The friend contacted Ireland’s son and they both went to the house on Tuesday.
While looking through the laundry room, they discovered her body.
Neighbour Mike Ware said he last chatted briefly with Ireland last Thursday. On Monday he felt it was strange that he had not seen her at the weekend.
KwaZulu-Natal violence monitor Mary de Haas said older people were often murdered by people known to them.
“There are various motives. Money is one of them. Some murders are linked to tensions in the family or disgruntled employees,” she said.