Rodney (74) and Rachel (63) Saunders were both respected botanists.
They traveled for six months through the wilderness of South Africa in search of rare plant seeds.
As part of the trip, the couple met a BBC television team at the beginning of February, for a feature on Gardeners’ World.
On February 8, presenter Nick Bailey posted a selfie with the couple on Twitter.
– Fantastic Rod and Rachel Saunders from Silver Hill Seeds. These people know their plants in South Africa, and most importantly know where to find them. Bailey wrote on Twitter that they sell a great selection of seeds online.
It was also the last day anyone heard of the couple was alive.
– On about February 10, investigators into the disappearance received information about the kidnapping of Rodney Saunders and his wife, Dr. Rachel Saunders from Cape Town in the Kwa Zulu Natal region, as was said in the ensuing trial, according to independent.
to me BBC Police are said to have found Rodney’s body in a river on February 17, while Rachel was found several days later.
After the couple went missing, their car was found covered in blood, and 734,000 rand (about 430,000 Norwegian kroner, at today’s exchange rate) was reported to have been withdrawn from their bank accounts, the BBC wrote.
thrown at crocodiles
In the wake of the disappearance, four suspects were charged with theft, robbery, kidnapping and murder of the couple, The Independent writes.
At the home of two of the accused, police found a drone, camping gear, generators and paintball gear, all of which had to be purchased with a Saunders bank card, according to Watchman.
In the investigation, according to The Guardian, the murders were allegedly motivated in part by extremism.
– It is alleged that between February 10 and 15 in the Ngwe Forest, the defendants unlawfully and deliberately killed Rachel Saunders, and between the same dates they unlawfully and baptized Rodney Saunders, The Independent reports the trial.
According to the trial, the four defendants allegedly beat the Saunders couple to death with a blunt object, then dumped the bodies into a crocodile-infested river.
When local fishermen later found the couple’s remains, they bore traces of partial eating.
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