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By Arisja Misselhorn


Daughter finds mother’s body hours after murder

Corrienne Tesner was still in her pyjamas when she was stabbed to death on the property she shares with her daughter, son, and his family.

Corrienne Tesner, 62, was murdered in her granny flat behind her children’s house in Mpumalanga on Saturday, reports Ridge Times.

The former receptionist at Highveld Park High School was still in her pyjamas when she was stabbed to death.

Her daughter, Cathrynne Pelser, discovered the body hours later, covered under some blankets.

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Cathrynne and her 15-year-old son Taille share the main house with her brother and sister-in-law, Darryn and Caitlin Pelser, and their two young children, Nikolai, 6, and Dimitri, 1.

They built on a granny flat when Tesner was diagnosed with diabetes and retired from the school about three years ago. They celebrated her 62nd birthday in December.

Tesner had her own gate remote and was very independent, Cathrynne said.

Corrienne Tesner (62) was murdered in her flat in Hodgson Street on Saturday. Many know her as a former receptionist at Highveld Park High School.

The family made sure to enjoy dinner together every night.

According to Darryn, he left for work at 1am on Saturday morning, but did not notice anything peculiar.

“Mom’s car is usually parked in the garage and I did not notice anything amiss,” said Darryn.

He returned home just before 11am that morning, but soon left again.

His wife, a local hairdresser, left for work at about 8am.

“Caitlin noticed the sliding door of the flat was slightly open and that the Chev was gone, but also thought nothing of it, because mom often opened up the flat for fresh air,” explained Ms Cathrynne Pelser who was at home most of the day.

She popped her head around the door of her mother’s flat sometime during the morning, but also did not see Tesner.

“The place looked messy, but I recalled my mother telling me her cleaning lady was unable to come to work in the week, and they arranged that she would come on a Saturday.

“I did not suspect a thing,” she said.

The Pelsers prepared for a braai in the afternoon and tried to contact their mother on both her cell phones, but the one was off and the other remained unanswered.

“It was already around 5pm when I decided to check if the domestic worker had left, but found the flat still in a mess with the bedding on the floor. I asked Darryn just to also go take a look,” Cathrynne told Ridge Times.

Darryn looked around the flat and discovered blood stains on the dark bed linen.“My mother is a diabetic and I was very worried. I went to the main house and called Cathrynne.”

They made it back to her mother’s flat before her brother and scooped the bedding off the floor.

“That was when I found her. She was already icy cold,” explained Cathrynne.

“Some things one cannot unsee,” said Ms Pelser.

Brother and sister both described their mother as a woman with an amazing sense of humour who always saw a way to make them laugh.

“She was loved and known by so many people. She made friends wherever she went. When you went with mom to the shop, you ended up greeting half of the town,” said Darryn.

He was still reeling from the shock of what had happened to their close-knit family.

“I thought we were fairly safe in this neighbourhood. The street in front of our house is always active with traffic,” he said.

All was quiet in Hodgson Street on Sunday morning.

They suspect that the murderer scaled their high garden wall after Darryn left for work.

According to Cathrynne, Taille is taking it hard, because he had a special bond with his grandmother.

“She was a wonderful granny who doted on her grandchildren,” she said.

“We have not yet told Nikolai what had happened. We think its best to seek professional help,” said Darryn.

Capt Bettina Zondo, spokesperson for Secunda Police Station, said a post-mortem must still be done to determine the extent of Tesner’s injuries.

She confirmed that Tesner was stabbed multiple times, and that there were cuts on her throat.

“The detectives are following up on several leads,” said Capt Zondo. This includes possible sightings of the stolen silver Chevrolet Spark with registration DMY 203 MP.

Tesner’s television and DVD player, cellphones, and handbag have been stolen, and the laptop is still unaccounted for.

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