British Couple Who Went Missing in South Africa Were Killed, Fed to Crocodiles: Cops

British Couple

Cops say two of the four suspects have been on a national watchlist for flying an ISIS flag outside their home.

A British couple who went missing in South Africa in 2018 during a camping trip were murdered and fed to crocodiles, police say, according to the New York Post.

Rod Saunders, 74, a horticulturist and his microbiologist wife, Dr. Rachel Saunders, 63, were camping in the remote Ngoye Forest Reserve just 30 miles north of the beach city of Durban when they disappeared in early February 2018, the New York Post reported.

The couple, who owned a seed shop in Cape Town and specialized in sending seeds for plants to customers around the world, would often trek the Rainbow Nation’s vast diverse remote rural areas and parks for specimens, The Windsor Star reported.

On February 8, 2018, they were last heard from after they told an employee their plans that they were camping in the remote Ngoye Forest Reserve, the New York Post reported.

Two days later they were reported missing on February 10, and cops now say that is the day they were murdered by four people in the area, The Independent reported.

Four people were later taken into custody and cops say the suspects kidnapped and murdered the couple on February 10, according to reports.

Text messages between the suspects that allegedly say that there was an elderly couple in the remote area that were a “target” for a “hunt,” is among the police’s evidence. Another text message reads, “it is very important that the body of the victims is never found,” the Post reported.

Cops say that two of the suspects, Sayefundeen Aslam Del Vecchio, and his wife, Bibi Fatima Patel, were known to fly an Islamic State flag outside their home and were on a national watchlist, according to the New York Post.

One of suspects admitted to covering the bodies with a sleeping bag and throwing them in the river, Cops said, as reported by the New York Post.

Cops also say that the couple were then fed to crocodiles, the Windsor Star reported.  

The couple’s bodies, later found by fishermen, were so badly decomposed and eaten that it took months to identify the remains through DNA tests, the Windsor Star reported.  

The suspects appeared in a Durban High Court this week and have said they are not guilty of any crime.

Prior to their murder, the couple appeared on BBC for their series, “Gardeners’ World,” The Independent reported.

The last known photo of the couple was a selfie with presenter Nick Bailey on February 8, 2018, the last day they ever made contact with someone.

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