“I was in the military and I saw some terrible things but what we found that day really shocked me‚” the farmer who discovered Siam Lee’s body has said.
He discovered her burnt remains while on a fishing trip with his grandson, describing it as more horrific than what he witnessed in the army.
The scorched patch of earth where she was found still bears ruts from where her body had been dragged from the dirt road. Two stalks of sugarcane had been broken under her weight before she was set ablaze.
Two days after she disappeared from the six-bedroom house in Durban North that operated as a brothel‚ the 20-year-old lay surrounded by police officers.
The elderly farmer who found her‚ said that he had first noticed a patch of charred cane on a secluded district road near New Hanover.
The search for Siam ended on Thursday when her relatives positively identified her body. Siam’s mother was taken in for questioning on Friday but was not detained or charged.
Police spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Thulani Zwane confirmed that the investigation had been changed to one of murder. It is understood that the investigation will run out of Durban North‚ the jurisdiction from which Siam Lee first went missing.
The farmer said that the smell of petrol was pervasive‚ something he assumed had been used to ignite the fire. Had it not been for drizzle during the night that her body was dragged into the sugarcane‚ the entire field would most likely have burnt.
“They must have dumped her there at night‚” he said.
“We were so shocked and we stopped right opposite the patch of burnt ground to see what was going on and then we saw the body‚” he added.
“It’s frightening‚ to be honest. I hope they catch the buggers.”
A team of private investigators and police had worked tirelessly since her disappearance.
Marshall Security spokesman Kyle van Reenen said their operatives had worked in close cooperation with the Durban North police during the search.
“It’s been a very long and hard week for us. We have worked literally non-stop behind the scenes with various role players and are all devastated by the outcome‚” he said.
“We hope that having found Siam will bring some form of closure to her loved ones and we will continue to support the SAPS with ongoing investigations into this case.”
Police are searching for suspects.
Catch all updates on Siam Lee’s abduction and murder case, here.