DNA tests to unequivocally identify the charred remains of 20-year old Siam Lee from Durban will likely delay her funeral.
Lee’s relatives positively identified her remains last week‚ several days after her burnt body was found in a sugarcane field in New Hanover in the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands.
The mysterious disappearance of the young woman exposed a secret brothel in a posh Durban neighbourhood. The Crawford College matriculant was last seen outside a house‚ barefoot and in a summer dress. Initial appeals by her family described an “abduction” from the house by a spurned lover.
Samples taken from the remains of her body‚ to be compared with those of her relatives‚ have to be tested at a police laboratory in Pretoria. Until these test results are returned‚ the state retains custody of the body which cannot be released to her family.
Police spokesperson Colonel Thembeka Mbhele said that police were still in the initial stages of their murder investigation.
“We are still waiting for the post mortem results to determine the cause of her death‚” she said.
“Bucal and hair samples were taken from the body that was recovered and these have been sent for testing.”
She said that until the tests confirmed the identity of Siam Lee‚ over and above the identification by her family‚ the Durban North police would handle the missing person docket while the murder docket would be held by police in New Hanover.
On Friday last week‚ Lee’s mother Carmen was quizzed by police.
Nobody has been charged in connection with the case.