One suspect has been arrested and police are still searching for at least three others believed to be responsible for the murder of a 78-year-old man and the ferocious assault of his wife at their smallholding in Theescombe on the outskirts of Port Elizabeth.
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The attack has sparked a huge outcry from neighbours in the surrounding smallholdings, who say the area has become the target of a number of housebreakings.
After a massive search of the area with sniffer dogs and a helicopter yesterday, police apprehended one suspect.
Police spokesman Captain Sandra Janse van Rensburg said the couple were only discovered early yesterday by their domestic worker.
“At about 8am the domestic worker went to the house and found the woman lying near the front door badly injured and the man murdered in the dining-room. She immediately contacted the police.
“At the moment it looks as if there are at least four suspects. It looks as if they entered through the back door.
“We cannot give any other information at this stage because forensics are still busy compiling the information,” Janse van Rensburg said.
Neighbour Amanda Moore is still in shock from the violent attack on the people she said were “like family” to her.
“At about 8.30pm last night our dogs were barking, so we phoned them (the couple) and they said everything was fine, so I really don‘t know what time this happened.
“The maid came to my house in the morning and said the windows were all broken and she saw something was wrong. I phoned the police and ambulance immediately, but didn‘t go inside the house.
“This is just so terrible because I love them like my own family. They are such friendly, very hardworking and healthy people,” said Moore.
She said the couple had three dogs, but she did not know if the other two were also killed because she was only given one to look after.
“I‘ve been staying next to them for 13 years. I‘ve never had problems; we felt safe.”
Michael Kerr, who stays two houses away from the Venter home, said they had had a lot of burglaries in the area, but seldom heard of murders.
“Most people have guns around here because there is such a problem with housebreakings. “They (the Venters) do not have a fence around their house or an alarm system, but I think George had two guns,” said Kerr.
Another neighbour, who did not want to be named, said he thought the problem could be the squatter camp behind his home. “I live in the house opposite George‘s and behind me there‘s a massive squatter camp; that‘s the problem.”
While at the murder scene, police were alerted by a resident in the area who said she had spotted two suspects in her shed at her home next to the Kragga Kamma Game Reserve.
Although they could not confirm if the two incidents were related, police rushed to the woman‘s home, where a helicopter and two sniffer dogs were used to assist police with their search. One suspect was arrested. He was found near the Lake View and Seaview roads.