A man who was killed in an alleged scuffle after he slipped through a window at a Walmer guesthouse last month is believed to have died from “force to the neck”.
However, detectives would not say if that meant he had been strangled.
Mthethuvumile Mcopele, 31, had allegedly tried to rob a father and son, aged 87 and 65, inside a flatlet at the Pine Tree Lodge and Guest House in Union Road, Port Elizabeth.
Mcopele, who was allegedly armed with a knife when he climbed through a bathroom window into the flatlet, is said to have died during a scuffle with the two men, who are both from Gauteng.
Police spokeswoman Captain Sandra Janse van Rensburg said a postmortem revealed the cause of death was consistent with force to the neck.
Janse van Rensburg said statements had not yet been taken from the father and son and they had since returned to Gauteng.
“We do not know what the circumstances are around the death as the police have not yet spoken to them,” she said.
When police arrived on the scene, the men had already been taken to hospital for treatment.
One of the men’s cellphones was allegedly found in a jacket pocket of Mcopele and his hands were tied behind his back. He was lying on a bed.
Medics on the scene said rigor mortis – which takes two to six hours, depending on the weather conditions – had already set in when they arrived.
“The police are still gathering evidence in this case,” Janse van Rensburg said.
“Once we have all the statements, the case will be sent to the National Prosecuting Authority, who will then make a decision on whether the case must be changed to murder, or remain an inquest.”