The men denied knowing where Ken Price is but were charged with murder after his body was discovered in a mortuary near Richards Bay.
A six-month long search for a missing 73-year-old Malvern pensioner came to a tragic and horrific end after his bludgeoned body was discovered at the Empangeni Mortuary, north of Durban, recently.
Ken Price lived a reclusive life in the Malvern area in Queensburgh. His family lived abroad in the United Kingdom.
His family abroad became suspicious that something was wrong when all forms of communication with Price stopped in November last year.
They contacted Brad Nathanson Investigations to investigate the pensioner’s whereabouts.
In a Facebook post by Brad Nathanson Investigations, it was stated that they arrived at the secluded residence, discovering lights that were switched on, curtains drawn and windows closed.
When the team entered the house, they realised it was a crime scene. The scene was cordoned off and Malvern police were contacted for further investigations.
Provincial police spokeswoman, Lieutenant Colonel Nqobile Gwala, says Malvern detectives found blood stains in Price’s house but could find no trace of him.
“Some of the victim’s belongings, including two bikes, a DVD player, tools and other items, were missing.”
She explains that information received on May 12 was that a neighbour was advertising motorbikes belonging to the victim.
“The police went to the neighbour’s house, searched the premises and found other items belonging to the victim. The neighbour led the police to Savannah Park and Chatsworth, where two other men were also found in possession of the victim’s belongings,” she says.
When the alleged perpetrators were initially questioned, they denied any knowledge of Price’s whereabouts. The men were arrested and charged with possession of stolen property. A fourth man was later arrested.
“The investigation steered Malvern detectives to the discovery of Price’s body at the mortuary. It is alleged that the victim was at his place of residence when he was attacked by the suspects, who assaulted him with a hammer on his body and head.
“They covered his body with plastic and drove to Richards Bay, where they dumped him in a dense bush. His decomposed body was discovered on December 7, last year, at the Maguzulu area in Empangeni,” she adds.
The men arrested for stolen property, were then also charged with murder.
“The Malvern police station will continue with the murder investigation,” she says.
The four accused appeared in the Pinetown Magistrates Court on Friday for their bail application.
Three of the accused were denied bail pending a formal bail application on June 2. The fourth accused was released on warning.
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