Sandy Maharla’s killing bears striking similarities to the rape and murder of Micaela Manneson, who was found in a stretch of veld in Nancefield in February. Little more than charred bones were left after her corpse was surrounded with tyres that were set alight.
Jonathan Maharla was charged and convicted of Micaela’s murder.
Maharla’s 18-year-old sister was found murdered on Sunday morning in the veld at Eldorado Park, south of Joburg, her body burnt almost beyond recognition.
Her remains were found just a few kilometres from where Micaela’s body was found in February.
And now The Star has learnt that the prime suspect in Sandy’s killing is allegedly one of Micaela’s relatives – who was detained by police on Monday afternoon.
When Sandy had not returned hours later, her family started to worry, said her father Craig Marie.
By midnight, her parents were frantic and visited the local police station to file a missing person report.
But when officers at the station were told that the missing person was 18 years old, they allegedly laughed it off, saying it was likely she was out partying.
By Saturday morning, the family had formed a search party, visiting her friends and relatives to try to find her.
It was only after a failed search that police at Eldorado Park were willing to open a case.
Her corpse had been dumped in an area containing mounds of rubbish.
Discarded jeans, manure, plant clippings and other refuse surrounded her bruised and burnt body. Just centimetres away lay a package for a “Love Me!” baby doll.
On Monday, distraught family members were trying to make sense of what had happened to the high school pupil they described as a shy girl who found her identity when she sang.
Dozens of neighbours, relatives and friends visited her family home on Monday morning, but the sense of anguish was most visible on the face of her father, Craig Marie. – The Star