Friday, 23 June 2006

Family mourns farmer's death

23/06/2006 09:37 - (SA)

Danel Blaauw, Die Volksblad

Bloemfontein - The family of a Free State dairy farmer are struggling to come to terms with his brutal murder at their farmhouse 20km outside Bloemfontein.

The body of Flip Heynecke, 51, who'd been hanged with an electric cord and strangled, was found by his wife and two daughters.

Wilna Heynecke and her daughters, Odette, 22, and Carin, found Heynecke's bound and bloodied body on Wednesday night.

Heynecke's body had been tied to a large lifting jack inside their weekend home.

The family cut him lose and rushed him to Universitas Hospital in Bloemfontein, where he was declared dead on arrival.

Heynecke farmed on the farm Over-eenkoms about 20km outside the city.

Scenes of grief played out at the house in the Bainsvlei area on Thursday.

'A peaceful person'

While the Heyneckes were still trying to find answers for the senseless farm murder, police launched an extensive search for the killers from the air and on foot.

"My father was such a peaceful person," said Odette. "I can't understand why it had to happen.

I can't comprehend it."

A police airplane and helicopter circled low over the farms, while forensic specialists combed the area and lifted footprints.

Heynecke, who lived in Fleurdal, was a fulltime farmer. He'd been commuting between the city and the farm for the past six years.

He and a neighbour, Faan Schoeman, managed a dairy. "He delivered milk from me at 09:00 and again at 19:00 and 19:15," said Schoeman.

House surrounded in darkness

"When he had still failed to arrive at 19:30 on Wednesday, I became worried."

Schoeman phoned Mrs Heynecke in the city.

She and her daughters immediately drove to the farm and searched around the house and dairy.

"The house was surrounded in darkness. A light was burning at the stables," said the widow.

There was a warm can of milk, and Heynecke's lunch boxes were lying in the footpath.

The search company found strange footprints in the yard and went to investigate at the house.

"Everything was locked up and Flip's bakkie was gone," said Schoeman.

Dawid Claassen, Odette's friend, kicked down the front door and, together with the family, found their murdered father.

"He was tied to a jack and was half sitting, half hanging," said Odette.

"His hands, arms and neck were tied with electric cord. His mouth was covered with brown tape."

Blood was running from his ear, and his hands were bloodied.

"He must have been violently murdered," said Odette.

Farmer hanged, strangled

Captain Francois Laux, acting commander of the unit against serious and violent crime in the Southern Free State, said a post-mortem had indicated Heynecke had been hanged and strangled.

Police were searching for three or four suspects. One of the suspects apparently used to work for Heynecke.

The killers escaped in Heynecke's beige Datsun bakkie with registration number CGH 192 FS.

A microwave oven, cellphone, blankets, mattress and radio were also stolen.


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