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Sat Dec 03 21:43:36 SAST 2016

Silent walk of sorrow at Tokai teen death site

Aron Hyman | 2016-03-09 00:46:08.0
Family and friends of murdered Franziska Blöchliger hold a vigil at Tokai forest for the teenager who was attacked and killed there on 7 March while she was out jogging.
Image by: HALDEN KROG

Hundreds of people walked silently through a Cape Town forest at sunset last night in memory of a 16-year-old jogger murdered there on Monday.

The parents of Franziska Blöchliger offered a R50 000 reward for information leading to the arrest of her killers.

Florian and Shireen Blöchliger said they were "devastated" by the loss of their eldest daughter, who was killed in Tokai forest.

"We are appealing to the community, to everyone around here, to help us to find this person who can do something horrible like that," said Florian.

"Not only so that they can put him into jail, but so that he can't do that to somebody else. Because if he has done something like that once, he will do it again."

Surrounded by Franziska's grieving relatives and friends at their Muizenberg home, the couple relived their ordeal, which began on Monday afternoon when Shireen and Franziska drove to Tokai.

They arrived 30 minutes before a bus from the German School in Cape Town was due to drop off Franziska's younger sister, Sofia, and the teenager decided to run a 5km circuit of the forest.

"After 30 minutes Franziska wasn't back. My wife was getting anxious, the bus was coming and she didn't want the little girl to stand at the bus, waiting, so she called me," said Florian.

He drove to Tokai and after a search yielded no trace of their daughter they called the police.

While riding on his scooter along the forest paths calling out to his daughter, Florian received a call from her cellphone.

"I shouted 'Where are you?' only to hear children's noises in the background, like a screaming child, not my child, somebody else's child. And after about 30 seconds the phone was put down.

"I got hysterical. I went back and told the police what happened. My father called me and said Franziska's phone also phoned him and the same thing happened to him as well."

Twenty minutes after police arrived about 100 people came out to help with the search. Franziska's body was found in fynbos at the edge of the forest.

The phone was last tracked by police to nearby Westlake at 9pm on Monday.

Yesterday a steady stream of people, including Franziska's schoolmates from Constantia Waldorf School, placed flowers alongside the forest fence. The school was closed for the day.

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