South Africa

Two suspects arrested in connection with murder of Free State couple

Specialist units tracked the murder suspects to their Bloemhof hideout where they were found with the couple’s cellphones.

Two men have been arrested in connection with the brutal murder of an elderly couple. Christo Morrison, 76, and his 73-year-old wife Christa were found dead on their farm near Glen in the Free State on Saturday 4 May.

The province’s Serious and Violent Crimes (SVC) unit acted upon intelligence suggesting the suspects were hiding at a guesthouse in Bloemhof.

Free State murder suspects arrested at Bloemhof guesthouse

The SVC, in conjunction with the Welkom Tactical Response Team, raided the guesthouse at roughly 11pm on Friday night, where they apprehended the two men.

Aged 39 and 26, the two men were found to be in possession of the Morrisons’ cellphones.

ALSO READ: Phalaborwa man in court for gruesome family murders

Free State provincial police spokesperson Sergeant Mahlomola Kareli, confirmed that the two suspects is due to appear soon in the Bloemfontein Magistrate’s Court for house robbery and two counts of murder.

“The Free Stare Provincial Commissioner, Lieutenant General Baile Motswenyane, lauded the excellent investigative work displayed by the team and appreciated the numerous calls received with information from the community at large in the matter,” added Kareli.

Free State murder: Wife’s body found in septic tank

Police were first called to the Morrison’s farm after a neighbour was concerned about not being able to reach the couple by telephone.  

After finding the farmhouse ransacked and blood on the floor, police searched the property.

Christo Morrison’s body was found about 300 metres from his home, and Christa’s was shockingly found in the septic tank several hours later.

The couple’s Toyota Land Cruiser was then found near the town of Brandfort, roughly 30km north of the incident.

ALSO READ: Body found in septic tank as elderly couple murdered on farm north of Bloemfontein

7 710 South Africans murdered in last three months of 2023

The Morrisons are another sad addition to statistics reflecting the nation’s high murder rate.

Police minister Bheki Cele announced in February that 7 710 people where murdered in the reporting period from October to December 2023.

This number was up 2.1% from the same period in 2022 and was the highest amount for the previous five years.

Additionally, there were 7 927 attempted murders recorded and 40 331 case of robbery with aggravating circumstances for that same three month period.