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Home / ‘I was shocked, terrified, confused’… neighbour recounts grim discovery of body in freezer

‘I was shocked, terrified, confused’… neighbour recounts grim discovery of body in freezer

2021-11-08  Aletta Shikololo

‘I was shocked, terrified, confused’… neighbour recounts grim discovery of body in freezer
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A young man who runs a business at Katutura Central’s Herero Mall has recounted the day he tragically discovered the body of Leevi Paulus (22) inside a freezer. 

The man, who asked not to be named, said he was going about his daily activities in the area on Sunday last week when a foul odour coming from the bar, just three metres apart from his, prompted his curiosity. 

“I asked Amos (a cousin of Paulus) to open the bar and also check in the freezer, thinking there is probably meat rotting. I was standing near the door at that time, and just when he opened the second freezer, we saw Leevi’s lifeless body, already decomposed in the freezer,” he shared the ordeal with New Era. “I was shocked, terrified, confused. It felt like a nightmare.” 

The young man said he didn’t expect such a tragedy to happen. Paulus used to work as a bartender in the bar where he was found dead. He was last seen on Friday at 22h00 by his cousin Mathias Domingo, two days before his body was discovered. 

“We were drinking, dancing and just living our best lives that night. When he got quite intoxicated, my two cousins and I took him to his room and we left him sleeping, not knowing that it would be the last time I would see him alive,” Domingo narrated. 

Domingo shares a room - just opposite Paulus’ - with his cousins Amos Israel (35) and Malakia Mateus (22), who are the main suspects in the murder case. According to him, both men went to bed, and he didn’t suspect any ‘dodgy’ movements. “I truly don’t know how they are connected to his (Paulus) death. So, I can’t say much on that,” he stated. He also didn’t realise Paulus was missing, because he usually disappeared for days. 

“Sometimes he went to his girlfriend and stayed there for weeks, which is why I didn’t look for him on Saturday. Also, if it wasn’t because of the smell, we probably would not have noticed there is someone dead, next door,” he continued. Domingo remembers Paulus as “unproblematic” and always working hard to support his two-year-old daughter. 

“He was generally a good person. Now that he is gone, I am even wondering who will be taking care of his daughter. The mother of the child is unemployed and she cannot even raise a child,” he sobbed. Domingo and Paulus are both from Shangalala in Angola, and migrated to Namibia when they were just teenagers in search of jobs and a better livelihood. “We have been doing odd jobs around Windhoek to assist our families back home,” he added. 

The family is now making arrangements to repatriate the body to Angola. In an interview, Khomas police commander Ismael Basson said the autopsy shows that Paulus was brutally assaulted and suffocated to death. 

“I believe he was assaulted until he became unconscious, then they put him in the freezer, where he suffocated,” he explained. Israel and Mateus were arrested on Wednesday, and appeared in the Katutura Magistrate’s Court on Thursday. The accused were denied bail due to the seriousness of the charges, a fear that they may abscond and public interest. They are expected to return to court on 27 January 2022.


2021-11-08  Aletta Shikololo

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