The mystery of the suddenly appearing body
Bloemfontein woman vanishes. A fortnight later, her corpse turns up in her backyard. What happened?
A murder mystery that has all the twists and turns – and a dose of tragedy – of a whodunit script is unfolding in Bloemfontein in the Free State.
The police are no closer to solving 46-year-old Natasha Mans’s puzzling murder, after her body was found in the backyard of the home she shared with her boyfriend in the Groenvlei suburb.
In fact, it was boyfriend Dennis Carsten who discovered her body lying under a tree on the property on June 13, with a gunshot to the chest, two weeks after she had been reported missing on May 31. It would appear the body had been dumped here.
After she was reported missing, a manhunt was launched, which included a police rescue dog, a plane and more than 20 volunteers. However, it yielded no success. Then, Mans’s body was discovered on the property where she lived.She was wearing jeans and a warm top when she was last seen, according to an alert sent out by the Pink Ladies. But when her body was found by Carsten, she was dressed in black pants, boots and a grey-and-black jersey.
She had a gunshot wound to the chest, and it appeared that her body had been moved there. Police officers at the time speculated she was shot after she had died, and that the state of degradation suggested that the body was kept in a cool place, such as a freezer, for at least two weeks.
This isn’t the first murder involving a member of the Mans family. In April 2015, Mans found her daughter’s lifeless, bloody body in her bedroom on their smallholding in Bainsvlei.The 15-year-old Noeline Koekemoer was brutally raped and killed by a farmworker. During the trial, 40-year-old Moses Maoka, who knew both Noeline and Natasha, confessed to breaking into the house and then raping and strangling the teen.
He was found guilty and given two life sentences for rape and murder, Netwerk24 reported in December 2015. He was out on bail for robbery when he attacked Noeline.
This year, tragedy has struck again, but this time police are no closer to solving the mystery involving Natasha Mans.
Police spokesperson Captain Chaka Marope confirmed that Mans was found wearing different clothes to what she reportedly was last seen wearing. He also confirmed that there was a single gunshot wound in her chest. However, Marope would not confirm widely reported details that Mans’s body may have been stored in a cold room or that she was shot post mortem.“There are things that we don’t know, that will only be revealed in the postmortem report. There are so many speculations and I cannot confirm them,” Marope said.
“For now there are no new developments and there are no suspects in the case. We are still trying to connect the dots.”
According to Marope the Hawks are assisting in the investigation and the case has been handed over to a “detective with special skills” in murder investigations.
He said the autopsy report could be released in July.
Mans was cremated after a private memorial service last week Thursday.