Bound body of man, 70, dumped in bushes
Woman makes grisly find on her way to work
A woman on her way to work stumbled across the body of an elderly Port Elizabeth man – his hands and feet bound, mouth taped shut and head covered in clingwrap – which was dumped near a gravel road on the outskirts of Fairview.
It is believed he was killed somewhere else.
Petrus Scholtz, 70, went missing on Tuesday night, and police suspect he was hijacked and robbed.
He sustained serious head wounds.
The disturbing find was made at 8am on Thursday in the bushes alongside a dirt road near Willow Drive.
The company bakkie Scholtz had been using at the time of his disappearance is still missing.
The pieces of the murder puzzle and Scholtz’s disappearance only started coming together hours after the body was found, when the owner of Peter White Electrical in Summerstrand reported Scholtz, whom he employed, and his company bakkie missing after he had failed to pitch up for work on Wednesday.
Detectives believe Scholtz was hijacked, robbed and beaten before being murdered and dumped alongside the dirt road.
His hands and feet had been tied together with nylon rope.
Police said Scholtz had several bloody gashes on his head, possibly from being beaten and stabbed with a sharp object.
The bushy area where his body was found is between Willow Road and Seringa Street, Fairview – bordering African Brick Port Elizabeth.
Police spokesperson Warrant Officer Alwin Labans said Scholtz had last been seen leaving his home in Cape Road on Tuesday night.
“According to police information, he was last seen by his girlfriend at 8pm, when he left his house and failed to return home,” Labans said.
“He did not tell her where he was going or what he was going to do.
“When Scholtz failed to pitch for work on Wednesday morning, the company owner tried to get hold of him.
“By Thursday morning, after failing to locate his employee, the owner went to the police.
“While at the police station reporting his vehicle and employee missing, [police realised that] the description given of the man matched that of the body found dumped in the bushes in Fairview.”
According to Labans, the company owner – who did not want to be named – had last seen Scholtz when he left work at 4.30pm on Tuesday in the Isuzu bakkie.
“We can confirm that the bakkie is missing and that it had two ladders on it at the time,” he said.Labans said it was suspected that Scholtz had been hijacked and robbed.
“Nothing was found on him – no money, cellphone or wallet,” he said.
“But it is believed that he had money on him when he left the house.”
Asked if any money had been withdrawn from Scholtz’s bank account, Labans said that was part of the investigation.
The small amount of blood at the site where the body was found indicated that he had probably been murdered elsewhere, police said.
“He had visible gashes to his head as if he had been badly assaulted,” Labans said.
“At this stage, the cause of death is unknown but we suspect it is due to head injuries.
“We are, however, awaiting the postmortem results.”
Detectives suspect the body was dumped sometime between Wednesday night and Thursday morning.
“The area is fairly remote and off a gravel roadside that leads through the bushes,” Labans said
Residents from nearby houses have offered to check their CCTV footage to see if they can spot any suspicious activity in the area.
The owner of Peter White Electrical declined to comment.
A murder docket has been opened.