Sunday, 25 November 2007

Wife lay next to dead husband for 30 hours

November 24 2007 at 11:51AM

By Alex Eliseev

Beaten and semi-conscious, Martina Stocker lay next to her husband's bloody corpse for more than 30 hours. She and her husband Jürgen fell prey to a gang of robbers at their Bryanston home on Wednesday night, but were only discovered on Friday, after their company raised the alarm.

Jürgen, 66, was shot in the upper body and collapsed in the passage. He was tied up and left in a pool of his own blood.

Martina lay in the same passage from the time of the attack until 9am on Friday, when Inspector Hein van Heerden, from Randburg police station, found her.

"They were not far from each other," a police officer at the scene said.

Detectives said at first they thought Martina was also dead but, after confirming she was alive, called the paramedics.

The 49-year-old woman was rushed to Sunninghill hospital, where she remains under observation. She had been viciously attacked and was dehydrated.

On Friday, children from Bryandale Primary poured out into Stirling Avenue into their parents' cars. Metres from the school gate, detectives waited for a mortuary van to clean up the grizzly murder scene inside house number 23.

It's understood the robbers gained entry into the upmarket house by smashing the glass back door. It appears Jürgen got up to investigate and confronted the intruders.

Police confirmed that two weapons, a handgun and a shotgun, were stolen from the house. It is not known whether the robbers used one of these guns to shoot the owner or if they were armed when they broke in.

At the scene, a team of five forensic pathologists worked to gather evidence. A postmortem is likely to be done on Monday.

The Stockers' Land Rover was parked in the driveway, facing the gate. It's understood the robbers tried to drive it away but were unsuccessful. A set of keys was discovered on the lawn outside the perimeter wall.

The police were led to the house when the couple's work colleagues became worried and called sector manager Van Heerden.

Police spokesperson Superintendent Lungelo Dlamini said the house had been ransacked. Aside from the guns, a laptop and some cellphones were missing.

All Dlamini would say about the attack on Martina was that she had been assaulted.

Police have approached the German consulate to assist them in notifying Stocker's son, who lives in Germany.

Sunninghill hospital spokesperson Pip Kruger said family members had given strict instructions to the hospital not to comment on her condition.

Netcare 911's Nick Dollman confirmed that they had treated the patient and transported her to the hospital.

This article was originally published on page 2 of The Star on November 24, 2007


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