Khayalethu Park is where the naked and lifeless body of Dephney Martins was found on January 2 at around 13:40.
KNYSNA NEWS - The 19-year-old woman who was found dead by a member of the public in bushes in Khayalethu on January 2 has been identified as Dephney Martins.
An inquest docket was opened following Martins’ death.
According to Knysna police spokesperson Sergeant Chris Spies, the young woman's naked body was found by a member of the public in the bushes near Ngalo Street, Khayalethu on Monday, January 2 at about 13:40. Her clothes were also found at the scene.
Spies said on January 3, “The circumstances surrounding her death is yet unknown and are being investigated.”
Speaking to the Knysna-Plett Herald on January 9, Martins’ sister Deborah Dick said, “There’s a lot of mystery surrounding Dephney’s death and we don’t know what happened to her.”
She said they (her family) last saw Martins, who is also fondly known as Ququ, on Sunday, January 1, “We all went to the beach together, after that she went to visit our neighbour and they say she left with her friend, who now claims to have last seen her on Saturday, December 31.”
Maggie Martins, mother to the 19-year-old, said, “Nothing breaks my heart more than learning that my daughter’s lifeless body was found naked, how do I make sense of that? And the person who supposedly left with her denies seeing her on Sunday. How does one find peace?”
The emotional mother said the funeral service for Martins will be on Saturday, January 13.
Councillor Mandla Matiwane said, “The municipality is going to make sure that Dephney gets a dignified send-off and we’ll assist the family however we can during this difficult time.”
When asked for an update on the investigation on January 9, Spies said, “No indication of foul play or visible injuries was present at the time of the discovery.
"The postmortem was conducted last week and the cause of death indicates natural causes. Results of the postmortem does not indicate that the deceased was murdered or any foul play,” said Spies.
He said the investigation into this matter has not been finalised, and that DNA samples were also collected for further forensic analysis.
The mother of Dephney Martins, Maggie Martins (left) and sister Deborah Dick are desparate for answers. Photos: Nwabisa Pondoyi.