Interpol to help dad find daughter's killer
The answers could be found with her ex in Argentina
Interpol has now joined the search for a South African sought by SA police in connection with the murder of a teenager in November 2014.
Dylan Taljaard is believed to be in Argentina after he left SA months after the body of girlfriend Shannon Roberts was found in Amanzimtoti, in the south of Durban.
She was stabbed several times and her body left in dense bushes next to the Warnadoone Lifesaving Club. The SA police issued a warrant of arrest for Taljaard in 2015 after months of investigations.
Now Interpol has gotten involved, flagging Taljaard as a person wanted in connection with the murder.
Roberts’s father, Gareth Picton, told Times Select he was still struggling to piece together what had led to her murder, an incident that shocked the small community of Amanzimtoti.
“My daughter was brutally murdered, and Taljaard is a suspect in this murder.”
He said indications were she managed to run away from her attacker after she was stabbed, and later fell into the bushes. “A wound in the neck took her life,” he said.
Interpol described Taljaard as a 22-year-old who was born in Durban and spoke English and Afrikaans.
While Interpol has not posted Taljaard’s picture, the Shannon Roberts Foundation, set up by Picton two months after her death, did post it on their site.
“My girl was murdered after she broke up with her boyfriend,” he said. He alleged a WhatsApp message was sent to her on the fateful day, asking her to come down to the beach. “Here she was attacked and brutally assaulted.”
KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) police referred queries to national police spokesperson Brigadier Vish Naidoo. He has not yet responded, but undertook to check with Interpol.
When Roberts’s body was discovered, she was identified by a distinctive tattoo on her body, a police report at the time said.
Picton said Taljaard and his daughter had broken up two weeks before her murder.
“Taljaard was her boyfriend, and they met in that area of Amanzimtoti. They broke up, and she was a happy person after that until that WhatsApp message that lured her to the beach,” said Picton.
He said after the murder, Taljaard would maintain they were accusing him of something he never did. “For four months he was saying this. Why then did he flee to Argentina?” he said.
Roberts stayed with him in Gauteng for the better part of her young life after he got divorced from her mom. When Roberts was 15 years old, she went to live with her mother in Amanzimtoti. “She decided to live with her, and I was fine with that. That is when she met Taljaard.”
He claimed a lot of her problems started after she was left in the care of social workers in Durban after her mother moved back to Gauteng.
“She was up and down, but as my daughter I supported her. There was love between us despite the fact that I was no longer with her mother.”
At the time of her murder, Picton put up a R50,000 reward for anyone who could assist in the arrest of a suspect.
“Police after their investigation put out a warrant of arrest for Taljaard. But it turned out he flew out of Durban to Argentina, and we understand that he’s moving around that country with friends that he met on Facebook.”
He said they would only have closure once they saw the suspect in court.
“I can’t wait for that day when he arrives in the country with police and I face him in court. I can’t have closure until he’s back in our shores to face what he has done.”