Car theft leads to discovery of slain woman

Traumatised pet dog at first won’t let cops near body of Summerstrand resident, 83

Brigadier Leonie Bentley, left, and other police at the scene with Ann Ferreira's dog, Tory
Brigadier Leonie Bentley, left, and other police at the scene with Ann Ferreira's dog, Tory
Image: Fredlin Adriaan

When police found the body of murdered Summerstrand resident Ann Ferreira, 83, in the kitchen of her home on Sunday (13/08/18), her loyal dog Tory kept them at bay for almost an hour.

Her badly damaged vehicle, a green Opel Corsa, had been found in bushes near Despatch and a check of the vehicle’s registration details had led them to her house and the disturbing find, police spokesman Johan Rheeder said.

While police have not made known the cause of Ferreira’s death yet, her daughter, Diana, 53, said her mother had been “hurt badly”.

Rheeder said Ferreira was believed to have died between Friday and Saturday.

She had last been seen alive on Friday. He said he’d had to call members of Ferreira’s family to find out the dog’s name so she could be calmed down.

Tory, a Labrador mix, was eventually fetched by a neighbour.

“Tory is a rescue dog,” Diana said Sunday.

“Two years ago, she [her mother] went to the rescue pound to look for a dog.

“Tory came up to her, put her feet around my mom’s body and gave her a hug.

“She never left my mom’s side.”

Ann Ferreira
Ann Ferreira
Image: Supplied

Ferreira also had a Jack Russell, Trompie, who was found alive and well on a bed in the house.

Police officials on the scene said although Tory had been very hungry, she was fiercely protective and would not leave Ferreira’s body.

“We heard that Tory wouldn’t let anybody get close to her,” Diana said.

She said her mother had been strong, both emotionally and physically.

“She was in good health and could still touch her toes, but she was frail.

“She only weighed 50kg.”

Rheeder said there were no signs of forced entry and only the television was missing.

He said police could not say at this stage exactly when the attack had taken place.

Humewood station commander Brigadier Leonie Bentley arrived at the scene just after 11am and entered the house shortly before forensic specialists, wearing suits, masks and gloves, went inside to collect evidence.

“I am really battling to come to grips with my mom’s death,” Diana said.

“I last saw her two weeks ago.

“I knew she didn’t always lock all her doors. We fought about it a lot.

“The police tell us that there was no sign of forced entry. “My mom was a very active person. “She played tennis for many years and was still playing bowls.

“She was also a member of the St James Church. She lived in that house for 40 years. It was her pride and joy.

“We had been trying to convince her to go to an old age home.

“She did go once, for a short while, but moved back to her house, saying that she ‘wasn’t old yet’.”

She said Ferreira had finally agreed to sell her house and move to an old age home – which she was due to do at the end of the month.

“She signed the sale contract at the beginning of this month,” Diane said.

“We all came to Port Elizabeth to help her pack.

“She phoned me on Wednesday to say that she had finally made peace with moving and had started packing on her own now.

“She was very stubborn.

“She would still say to me, ‘Don’t tell me what to do, I am your mother’,” Diana said.

“When I was visiting her at the long weekend at the beginning of May, I made 28 portions of food for her so that she would have enough to the end of the month. She didn’t eat every day. She loved the precooked meals so much and phoned me regularly, saying: ‘Thank you for the food you made. I really enjoyed it’.”

Diana said the last time she visited the house, it had been filled with Ferreira’s children [Diana, Mignon Newman and Neels Ferreira], two grandchildren and five dogs.

She said as far as they could ascertain only a television and the vehicle had been taken in the attack.

“She didn’t really wear jewellery.

“The house was turned upside down and it looked like someone went through the packed boxes.

“I don’t want to speculate about why my mom was killed.

“It was a bad person who attacked her, but I don’t know why they did it.

“I can’t judge and hate them if I do not know what they were thinking.”

She said the family would possibly hold the funeral on Friday.