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ISIS-linked group sent chilling texts before British couple were murdered and thrown to crocodiles

ISIS-linked group sent chilling texts before British couple were murdered and thrown to crocodiles

Rachel and Rob were killed in South Africa in 2018

A court in South Africa has revealed the chilling text messages sent between members of a group linked with ISIS before they allegedly murdered a British couple and threw them into a crocodile-infested river.

Botanists Dr Rachel Saunders, 63, and her husband Rod, 74, lost their lives in 2018 while on an expedition near the oNgoye Forest, having just recently finished filming for an episode of the BBC’s Gardeners’ World.

The couple were on an expedition in South Africa when they were killed.
Pacific Bulb Society

Authorities have charged Sayfudeen Aslam Del Vecchio, 41, his wife Bibi Fatima Patel, 30, and their lodger Mussa Ahmed Jackson, 35, for their deaths, as well as accusing the trio of kidnap, robbery with aggravating circumstances, and theft.

A court in South Africa has revealed more of the grizzly details in the case, with prosecutors claiming ISIS pamphlets and flags had been found at the defendants' home.

Among the details uncovered are texts sent between the three accused prior to the Saunders' deaths, one of which appeared to indicate the trio were 'hunting' their victims.

The court heard messages allegedly described the Rachel and Rod as an 'elderly couple' who would be a 'good hunt'.

They also allegedly discussed 'killing the kuffar', saying they were in the forest.

It took months for the couple's body to be identified.
Pacific Bulb Society

Rachel and Rod's bodies washed up after they were thrown in the river, though it took months for them to be identified due to the damage from their injuries and the subsequent crocodile attacks.

The pathologist who conducted the postmortem on Rachel admitted he couldn't tell at first tell whether the victim was male or female.

Describing her body as 'one of the most extreme cases' he'd ever seen, he continued: “She had been dismembered. There were missing limbs – the right arm and a leg was not there. The groin was totally eaten out and there was no breast tissue.

The trio accused with their deaths have denied the charges.
Pacific Bulb Society

"There was no way to determine the gender. I also saw fractures on the skull, spine, neck, and ribcage. There was no hair. There were also multiple stab wounds."

When asked if he thought any of Rachel's injuries were due to 'scavenger activity', the pathologist answered: "The violent nature in which the body was dismembered suggests crocodiles may have fed on it. There were ragged bites all over the body."

As well as being accused of murdering the couple, prosecutors claimed the defendants had gone on a £37,000 spending spree with credit cards stolen from them.

Vecchio, Patel and Jackson have pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Featured Image Credit: Pacific Bulb Society

Topics: Crime, World News