Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Marleen Konings: The Missing Dutch Girl

... Found

Despite claiming that he suffered from amnesia, Mostert told Capt. Viljoen that he would try to help them since he was the "only link who knows where she is," according to Die Burger of December 3, 2004. While they were driving to Beaufort West, Mostert told the detective that he was having a flashback.

"I see a garage [gas station] near Barrydale with trees, then a turn after a garage to the left. On this road I see a picnic spot where I stopped," he told Viljoen according to the Cape Argus of December 3, 2004. "I am sitting in the back seat left. I see the girl walking away across the road to the front. She does not return."

On Friday, January 16, 2004, Viljoen and Mostert were driving in the vicinity of Barrydale. Mostert experienced another flashback when they entered the coiling Tradouw Pass—the R324 connecting the N2 from Swellendam to the R62 leading to Oudtshoorn. He told the detective to stop the car.

The Tradouw Pass
The Tradouw Pass

They made their way through some thick foliage. Quite some distance in Capt. Viljoen recognized the familiar stench of putrefaction. Mostert became increasingly reluctant and uncomfortable. Struggling further through the undergrowth, they found Marleen lying with her head in the water. She was fully clothed but badly decomposed.

seachers looking for the body
seachers looking for the body

In fact, Viljoen could not be sure that this was indeed the girl in the photos he had been scrutinizing the last week. She was provisionally identified based on her clothes and jewelry, but confirmation would be pending completion of the autopsy.

Tygerberg Hospital
Tygerberg Hospital

While forensic experts were still scouring the crime scene, the postmortem was being performed at Tygerberg Hospital near Cape Town. Professor Vince Phillips, who volunteers his expertise in forensic odontology, was called in to examine her teeth. After collaborating with Marleen's dentist in Holland, he was able to make a positive identification.

Searchers discover the body
Searchers discover the body

Marleen Konings had finally been found.

She had been shot in the back of her head with a .22 caliber weapon. There was no evidence of sexual assault.

The Konings family, who were receiving some bereavement counseling, began with arrangements to return Marleen's body to The Netherlands.

 

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