South African Axe Attack Girl Able To Identify Relatives

A 16-year-old girl who survived an axe attack in her home, where her parents and older brother were killed, is starting to show emotions and can recognize family members from photographs.

As reported by the Inquisitr, Marli van Breda survived the brutal axe attack in the family’s De Zalze Golf Estate home in Stellenbosch, South Africa on January 27. Her father, Martin van Breda, 55, and mother Teresa, 54, along with her eldest brother Rudi, 22, were killed in the attack. The only other surviving family member was 20-year-old Henri van Breda, who received minor injuries.

While her parents and brother were killed, Marli sustained injuries to her head and suffered a severed jugular. There is, apparently, a possibility of brain damage.

Marli van Breda remains in the Vergelegen Private Hospital. She recently showed signs of improvement and was moved from intensive care to a normal ward. She has been kept isolated, with only medical staff and police allowed in her room, as her possible testimony on the attack is vital to police investigations.

According to the police, the teenager is still unable to speak, but does show emotion and can recognize family members from photographs. So far, it is unclear whether Marli remembers what happened to her and her family, and it is unsure if she has been told that her parents and brother were killed in the incident.

According to a Van Breda family spokesman, Ben Rootman, on Friday, the family is taking things day by day.

“She has movement in both sides as well. We’re just taking it day by day with her. No visitors are allowed yet.

“The medical and support teams are doing exceptionally good work for which the family is extremely grateful. They realize that her recovery is a long-term process and all attention is focused on this.”

Marli’s only surviving immediate family member is Henri, 20, who escaped with minor injuries. As reported on the Inquisitr, it was later alleged that Henri’s injuries were self-inflicted, and he apparently only called emergency services four hours after the brutal attack occurred. Henri explained the delay by saying he had been knocked out by the intruder.

It was further revealed that the 20-year-old had been hospitalized in the Tijger Clinic in 2014, which treats a variety of conditions, including drug and alcohol addiction and mental problems. Later testimony came to light from an alleged drug dealer that Henri had been taking a drug named “Tik,” which is the local name for crystal methamphetamine.

However, News24 noted that Henri showed no sign of being under the influence of drugs when questioned by police directly after the murders.

A Stellenbosch lawyer, Lorinda van Niekerk, is apparently representing Henri, and he is under the care of family members at present. IOL quotes Rootman as saying Henri is being monitored and receiving counseling and his condition remains the same, adding that the family are coping with the situation.

“There are very few families in the world that go through something like this.”

Police spokesman Lieutenant-Colonel Andre Traut said Friday that no arrests have been made and there are no new developments in the case.

Management of the security-controlled De Zalze Golf Estate continue to affirm that there was no security breach and that this incident was isolated and “confined to the property in question.”

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