Shock as sweetheart Elna-Marie Abbott’s body is found at railway line

Floris Steenkamp

Residents of Walvis Bay learnt with shock and horror on Friday of the death of Elna-Marie Abbott, a former school learner and resident of the harbour town. Abbott’s decapitated body was discovered on a railway line in Windhoek on Friday morning, two days after she disappeared.

Abbott attended school in Walvis Bay for a part of her school career and her father, Johnny Abbott, and some other relatives still reside in Walvis Bay.
Although the news of her death came as a shock, there were people close to her who admitted Abbott was suffering from depression. On at least one occasion in the past Abbott reportedly made an attempt to end her own life by drinking an overdose of pills.
Despite the negative, Abbott was described over the weekend as a pleasant and friendly person who always placed other people’s lives and feelings first, often neglecting her own emotions in these acts of kindness. She was an emotional per-son, soft-hearted and it was important for her of how people perceived her.
The Namibian Police is now following up every possible clue.
They are under pressure from the Namibian public to determine beyond doubt whether of suicide and whether foul play could be the cause of her death. The Namibian public in particular is sensitive to incidents of this kind, in the wake of many incidents where women died violent deaths as a result of gender-based violence.
Abbott’s body was laying in such a position in relation to the railway line that it seems that she either laid down for an oncoming train to severe her head by the neck and in the event of foul play, police investigators keep an open mind and want to determine if someone placed the person or body in such a position that a passing train would decapitate the body.
An investigation team gathered various pieces of evidence that will be used to puzzle out the events since she disappeared on Wednesday.
It is believed Abbott on Wednesday night sent messages from her cell phone to bid friends and family farewell. When she did not return home, family took to social media on Thursday appealing to the public to come forward with information about her possible whereabouts. Abbott had two cell phone numbers. Both were switched off, but it is believed she was online for a last time late on Thursday afternoon. At the time she was missing for less than twenty-four hours and the Police would only mount a search for a missing person after being missing for 48 hours.
Abbott’s body was discovered on the railway tracks near Dr. W. Kulz Street early on Friday morning. TransNamib personnel made the discovery of her body. The Namibian Police remains mum on any specific details of the discovery, other than that her head was severed from her body and that the possibility is not ruled out that the train severed her head. Whether Abbott was still alive at the time the train [or other possible force] severed her head is also being forensically investigated.
Hours after the discovery of her body, Abbott’s vehicle was located in the parking lot of the luxury Merensky Towers over-looking Windhoek’s Dr Agostinho Neto Square and the Southern industrial area. The vehicle showed no signs of damage and was locked. The vehicle’s keys were handed in at the reception of the Merensky Towers residential complex.
Abbott until recently worked at the posh Marigold Hotel. She was a chef by profession. She previously worked at Erindi Game Ranch and underwent hospitality training in South Africa.
Inside her vehicle, the Police found bags, including a hand bag, and other belongings of Abbott. All her belongings were neatly packed.
Perhaps the most significant of it all are two letters Abbott allegedly wrote which were also found in the vehicle. The content of these letters the Police reportedly shared with Abbott’s closest family members.
At the scene where Abbott’s body was found there were more evidence collected, but due to the fact that the Namibian Police is exploring all possibilities around a cause of death, it would not be communicated on the pages of this newspaper for now.
Despite unprecedented public interest in the case and pressure from various members of the public to solve the case, the Namibian Police remains mum on the subject and is combing through every detail and every forensic sample to determine under what circumstances Abbott died.

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