Panayiotou ‘didn’t seem emotional’ after Jayde’s body was found – family friend

Panayiotou family friend Pieter Bekker Picture: Eugene Coetzee
Panayiotou family friend Pieter Bekker
Picture: Eugene Coetzee

A family friend of the Panayiotou family claimed on Thursday afternoon that murder accused Christopher Panayiotou showed no emotion upon hearing his wife Jayde’s body was found.

Describing the search for Jayde following her disappearance, Pieter Bekker, who was married to one of Panayiotou’s relatives, said Jayde’s father Derrick Inggs and Panayiotou’s father Constantinos Panayiotou were cut up when her body was found.

“Ironically we had searched so close to [the body] the night before… Maybe Chris was in shock but he didn’t seem very emotional,” Bekker testified.

But Panayiotou’s advocate Terry Price SC said Bekker’s comment that Panayiotou was not upset was gratuitous.

He said at the time Bekker saw Panayiotou, Panayiotou had not yet seen Jayde’s body.

“When Chris saw Jayde’s body he cried. His dad cried. Derrick cried. They hugged each other,” Price said.

Bekker told the Port Elizabeth High Court how he had been part of the search for Jayde, and had even wanted to personally offer a reward.

“I asked [Panayiotou] if they had an argument, maybe she went for a walk. He immediately said ‘no’,” Bekker said.

“I suggested Claudio [Panayiotou’s uncle] and I search Greenbushes area and following the road ended up in KwaNobuhle. We told Chris to find out from bank about any withdrawals on Jayde’s account and tried to get Vodacom to trace the phone.”

The trial continues.

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