Bloodstains on lover’s pants led to grisly find
A jilted lover has confessed to the murder of his partner whose body was found stuffed in a coal box
For days, worried friends of 42-year-old Dominique Coetzee tried to get hold of him. Then, a chance meeting and an observant eye finally led to where his body was stashed in a coal box at the back of an abandoned house, covered in stab wounds.
Now his jilted lover is in police custody, and Coetzee’s friends are trying to come to terms with the loss of an “outgoing” guy who died a painful, lonely death.
It was also thanks to his friends that police were put on the suspect’s trail, after they noticed blood on a pair of trousers the suspect was wearing when they stopped to ask about Coetzee’s whereabouts.
Coetzee was living with his boyfriend, Claudio de Souza, in Vereeniging after the pair moved from Port Elizabeth.
But plans went awry after Coetzee decided to walk out of the relationship, according to the police, because he’d had enough of supporting the unemployed De Souza.
A friend who was close to the couple, Marumo Bodibe, also confirmed this week that Coetzee wanted out of the relationship with his lover.Bodibe said the deceased felt that De Souza was becoming a burden to him.
“Dominique was disappointed after Claudia left a job that he had found for him,” Bodibe explained. Coetzee, who was employed by Browns Jewellers, was the breadwinner.
He was reported missing on August 19.
Captain Fikile Funda, spokesperson for the Vereeniging police, said his friends became suspicious when they saw De Souza driving around in Coetzee’s car, looking relaxed while everyone wondered about his whereabouts.
Bodibe and a friend stopped the accused and asked him how he could use their friend’s car while they were all worried that he is missing, said Funda. The friends then noticed blood stains on the accused’s trousers, which he apparently could not explain.
The friends accompanied De Souza to the local police. After a discussion, officers was taken to the house in De Deur, Savanna City, where the couple lived.
Funda said that when police found more bloodstains in one of the rooms, they brought in sniffer dogs, which led them to a nearby property.
“The body of the deceased was found stashed in a coal box at the back of an empty house close to where he lived,” Funda said.The accused “made a formal confession in front of the magistrate. He was taken to court shortly after his arrest, together with his lawyer, because he told police that he wanted to make a confession.”
Elize Westcott, who had been friends with Coetzee for years, described him as a great person. “He was very kind and loving, and always went out of his way to help others. I’m still shocked that he was murdered so brutally. I have so many questions that remain unanswered.”
De Souza has been charged with murder and will appear again in the Vereeniging Magistrate’s Court on September 3 for a formal bail application.
Coetzee will be buried in Port Elizabeth on Friday.