Swakop pensioner strangled in home

21 April 2021 | Crime

ERWIN LEUSCHNER



SWAKOPMUND

Swakopmund residents are shocked and angry while pensioners at the quaint coastal town live in fear after a senior citizen was attacked and murdered in her home.

German-speaking Irene Lohmeier (82) was killed between Monday night and Tuesday morning in her house, and the police are concerned about a recent spate of cases targeting one of society’s most vulnerable groups.

Investigators had already cordoned off Trekkopje Street in Kramersdorf’s area of Swakopmund yesterday after the unthinkable happened at house number nine.

According to Deputy Commissioner Erastus Iikuyu, Erongo regional crime investigations coordinator, the unknown perpetrators broke into the house and surprised the 82-year-old pensioner while she was sleeping. It is not yet known when the tragic incident occurred.

According to Iikuyu, Lohmeier’s daughter made the gruesome discovery yesterday morning when she found her mother in the living room “with several facial and neck injuries”. The cause of death? Strangulation.

Barefoot criminals

After the crime, the perpetrators are said to have ransacked the deceased's bedroom and stole jewellery, a brown bag containing several personal valuables and “many as yet unidentified items”. Iikuyu could not yet quantify the value.

“We ask for urgent support from the public. Any jewellery sold without proof of ownership must be reported to the police,” he said.

According to a reliable source, the police assume the two perpetrators initially walked barefoot across a neighboring property and later climbed over the boundary wall of Lohmeier's erf.

They are said to have entered the house through an open bathroom window.

After the crime, the men are said to have fled with a car parked on the side of the road. The alarm system was not activated at the time of the incident, a member of the security company said.

‘Thought we were safe’

"We are really shocked and stunned," a neighbour said.

“We always thought this road was safe, but now we're seriously worried.”

Lohmeier and her husband Hans, who died a few years ago, lived in the house for many years. She leaves behind a son, a daughter and several grandchildren.

In an interview with the Namibian Sun’s sister publication, Allgemeine Zeitung, investigators expressed concern, especially after a sharp increase in cases involving the elderly in Swakopmund.

Just a week ago, three masked, armed men stormed a house in Vineta and attacked two elderly women. The perpetrators are said to have beaten, tied up and gagged the 87-year-old woman and her caretaker.