Thursday, 9 October 2008

Olivier family wants answers

By Rivonia Naidu

The family of Lauren Olivier, the young Durban mother bludgeoned to death in her kitchen while carrying her two-month-old son, has only one question for their daughter's killer.

"We have battled with this so much, and all we want to know is why he did it," Olivier's father Lindsay Shankland said on Tuesday. He was speaking after the arrest of a suspect, believed to have been Olivier's gardener, was arrested at his Ezimangweni home in Inanda on Monday. Police had spent just over a year searching for him.

Olivier was stabbed 19 times in September last year.

Shankland said while the breakthrough would help with the healing process, it would in no way provide closure. An empty feeling would be with him, his wife and his two other children forever, he said.

"It's been so difficult for us to come to terms with what had happened, and it will continue to be difficult for us. There are also a lot of unanswered questions, but we are hoping to find answers when the case goes to trial," he said.

He and his wife have found it difficult without their grandson Jack, in Australia with her father Tony.

"Having our grandson so far away from us has been traumatic, but we are hoping that in the near future we will be able to build a relationship with him," he said.

He also said he was thankful police had persevered and caught the suspect.

Olivier was in her Meadow Lane home, cooking, and was holding her two-month-old son, Jack, on her hip when her murderer forced his way into the house.

Trying to defend herself, Olivier moved to activate the alarm, but it was ripped from the wall. Emergency services and the security company responded to the alarm (which went off when it was detached), but were too late to save the young mother's life. They found Olivier in a pool of blood, with Jack lying in a pool of blood crying pitifully next to her.

Dirk Olivier, Lauren's father-in-law, on Tuesday said his family was happy with the outcome of the investigation, and was "truly grateful" to police for their efforts.

"Lauren was just like a daughter to my wife and I, and we are pleased that her attacker has been caught … this makes us proud of our police," he said.

Olivier said Tony had been informed of the arrest and was relieved.

"It helps with closure, and that's what my son needs. He's trying to put all of this behind him and move on. Our grandson has adjusted to the changes in his life, and is happy," he said.

The suspect was expected to appear in the Verulam magistrates court this morning.

This article was originally published on page 1 of Daily News on October 08, 2008


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