A Back-a-Buddy fund has been started to pay for a private investigator to work on the case of Jesse Hess before it runs cold. Hess was found murdered in a Parow apartment on August 30, along with her 85-year-old grandfather.
Hess was a first-year Theology student at the University of the Western Cape (UWC), and her body was discovered on a bed in the flat. Her grandfather was found bound in the bathroom.
Hess’ murder is one of the deaths most prominently mentioned in protests against gender-based violence, along with those of horse show rider Meghan Cremer and University of Cape Town (UCT) student Uyinene Mrwetyana.
Noel Pratten was the PI hired to investigate the Cremer case, which led to the arrest of three men and her remains being discovered in a Philippi farm on the morning of August 8.
“The common thread in solving both these cases was the appointment of Noel Pratten, a private investigator, who cracked both cases. Let’s get Noel on this case before it goes cold and ensure justice for Jesse,” said Kate Steyn, who started the Back-A-Buddy campaign.
The campaign has already raised R2 800, but still has a long way to go to raise the rest of the R50 000 for Pratten’s fees.
“The murders of Jesse Hess and her grandfather are still under investigation and arrests are yet to be made,” Western Cape police spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel André Traut said.
An interfaith prayer vigil was held in Parow on Sunday evening for Hess and other women who had been murdered in violent circumstances.