The murder case surrounding Pinelands man Previn Pillay – who went missing on 23 December 2020 – has taken an even more sinister turn, with police suggesting that the death of the 29-year-old is linked to a gruesome case in which a beheaded and dismembered corpse was found stuffed into a suitcase some days after Pillay’s disappearance at an Athlone train station. 

When The South African enquired about reports that Pillay’s body has been found and identified, South African Police Service (SAPS) spokesperson Captain FC Van Wyk said that “a burnt body was found at Hazendal Railway station on the 27th of December 2020 at 6:05”. After further clarification around these comments and discussions with investigating officers, The South African understands this to be the same body placed in a suitcase at the train station – before being set alight – on the same day.

Previn Pillay murder linked to Athlone murder case

Van Wyk said that a murder case was registered at Athlone SAPS for investigation on 27 December, and nearly a month later – on Friday 22 January – he said that no arrests have been made as of yet, as the investigation continues.

“Anyone with any information about this incident is kindly requested to contact the investigation officer Detective Constable Leroy Cupido from Saps Athlone 021 697 9231 or Crime Stop on 08600 10111,” he said. 

An employee at the Hazendal railway station said that a man had been seen at around 6:00 “dragging a suitcase” along the station shortly before the fire was started, but said that once the burning bag of horrors was attended to, the suspect was nowhere to be seen. 

Police investigation continues

The South African enquired about a potential link between Pillay’s disappearance and the horrific discovery of the suitcase earlier in January, however, police said forensic teams were still at work determining the identity of the victim. 

Over the same period – on 26 December 2020 – Police spokesperson Brigadier Novela Potelwa confirmed that Pillay’s car had been found in the Delft informal settlement, some 15 minutes drive from the Hazendal train station where the suitcase was discovered. Pinelands, where Pillay went missing, is only a 20-minute drive away from Delft, and less than 10 minutes from the Hazendal train station. 

“Detectives are following up on a number of leads, even today they are working hard to investigate several possibilities,” Potelwa said at the time. 

Family of Previn Pillay prepare for son’s funeral

Earlier on Friday, a statement was released on behalf of Pillay’s family in which they confirmed the tragic news. The family was too distraught to speak to the media and has asked for privacy as they prepare for their son’s funeral.

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Presh JM Reporter

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