Gyrocopter aids police in apprehending suspected GBV perpetrator

Niël Terblanché and Ester Mbathera

The Namibian Police, with the aid of a local farmer’s gyrocopter, successfully apprehended a 26-year-old man accused of the brutal murder of his girlfriend, Lena Williams, aged 29, on Saturday.

According to the Namibian Police’s report about the incident, the tragedy occurred in the early hours of Saturday in the Saamstaan Location of Usakos.

According to the report, the suspect allegedly lay in wait for Williams at her residence after she spent the evening out with friends.

Upon her return, she was attacked and fatally stabbed multiple times.

Despite being rushed to the hospital, Williams was pronounced dead upon arrival.

The suspect, in a desperate attempt to flee, took their three-year-old daughter and headed towards the mountains surrounding Usakos.

A key moment in the search for the suspect came when a local farmer offered his gyropcopter to police officers, who were then able to locate the suspect in his mountain hideout, leading to his arrest.

Erongo police spokesperson, Chief Inspector Ileni Shapumba explained that the victim previously opened a case of housing and theft against the suspect who fled the town at the time.

The suspect recently returned to the town and had allegedly been sending Williams threatening messages.

“On Friday, she visited the police station on Friday morning to certify documents and the station commanders remembered her from that previous incident. The commander asked her if she was still receiving threatening messages from the suspect and she confirmed. The station commander accompanied her to go look for the suspect but did not find him,” he said.

A second officer again went with her later that day to look for the suspect but to no avail.

According to Shapumba, the victim was advised not to go home for fear that her life might be in danger.

Early Saturday morning, she fetched her son from where she left him and went home to meet her fate.

Shapumba urged anyone who feels that their life might be in danger from another person to always approach law enforcement officers.

“If you are not satisfied with the assistance received from a police officer, please elevate your case to the station and regional commanders or the Inspector General of the police,” Shapumba said.

In recent weeks, a number of women died at the hands of their loved ones countrywide.

During the Easter weekend, 21-year-old Chrizelda Kawari’s mutilated body was found in a room at Mariental.

Her 24-year-old boyfriend handed himself over to the police and confessed to killing her.

At the beginning of March, Beverly /Nanus was allegedly struck on the head with a brick or stone by her boyfriend at Okombahe.

In February, Helen Onesmus was allegedly killed by her husband in Windhoek.

In January, 64-year-old Helena Wimmert was brutally raped, murdered, and then robbed allegedly by her 29-year-old grandson.

In the meantime, Usakos mayor Irene Simeon-Kurtz expressed her deep sorrow over the incident, condemning the violence and calling for unity and vigilance among Usakos residents. The Simeon-Kurtz highlighted Williams’s recent activities, noting her efforts to seek employment and her reports of feeling unsafe before her murder. She said this tragic event stresses the critical need for timely and effective responses to threats against the personal safety of women.

Simeon-Kurtz reiterated the town council’s efforts to enhance local economic opportunities through tourism and investment while stating that such heinous acts hinder community progress. She addressed the necessity of a satellite police station in the Hakhaseb location, a project aimed at bolstering law enforcement’s presence and response capabilities.

According to Simeon-Kurtz, the quick arrest, facilitated by community cooperation and technological aid, sends a potent message to potential offenders. She also urged regional leaders to collaborate on strategies to combat violence against women, emphasizing the urgency of addressing this pervasive issue.

The council, reflecting on the loss, extended its condolences to the family and friends of Lena Williams, whose life was cut short. The mayor said the incident serves as a stark reminder of the ongoing battle against domestic violence and the importance of community, technology, and law enforcement working in concert to ensure public safety.

The involvement of a farmer’s gyrocopter showcases a novel use of technology in crime-fighting, bridging the gap between traditional methods and the digital age.

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