Franziska’s body was still warm when they found her

Franziska Blöchliger

A year after her death‚ the murder trial of 16-year-old Franziska Blöchliger is underway in the Western Cape High Court.

Howard Oliver stands accused of the teenager’s murder in the Tokai forest where she had gone for a run.

On Monday the state called 36-year-old Jared Van Wyk‚ who is involved in a neighbourhood watch that patrols the area‚ to the witness stand.

On the day of March 7‚ 2016‚ Van Wyk explained that he got home from work and received a message on the neighbourhood watch Whatsapp group about a teenage girl who had gone missing in the forest.

Van Wyk and his wife then joined the search for Blöchliger.

“As I walked into the gate her dad was standing at the gate with police officers. He was distraught and pleaded with us to find his daughter‚” he said.

Van Wyk and his wife walked in a northerly direction and they eventually went separate ways.

Then he came across a takkie. After calling the neighbourhood watch they confirmed that Blöchliger had worn the same shoes.

“I got a chilled feeling [when I looked at the takkie] — I wasn’t going to find a girl answering me back when I called her name.”

Van Wyk heard someone screaming and ran to her immediately. He came across a tearful women who had found the body.

“I turned around and yelled to everyone they must stop‚ I need SAPS’ assistance at this location‚” he said.

“I went up to the body and felt for a pulse on both her wrists and neck. She had no pulse. I checked her body for temperature. Her body felt warm.”

Next on the witness stand was Mark Japhta — Oliver’s childhood friend.

Japhta explained that he was washing cars on the day of the murder when the accused tried to sell him a phone.

Prosecutor‚ Lenro Badenhorst‚ asked Japhta whether Oliver had a bad temper‚ he answered: “He can get really‚ really angry.”

But during cross examination Oliver’s counsel‚ Advocate Ken Klopper‚ indicated that Oliver said he had never approached Japhta on that day to sell a phone to him.

The case continues.

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