Family finds raped and assaulted daughter in hospital moments before she dies

Written by on July 2, 2019

Kimberley, S. AFRICA – A 33-year-old Prieska woman died just moments after her family found her in the local hospital after she was raped and brutally assaulted on the weekend.

Vanessa “Nessa” Barends, who is the daughter of a well-known retired nurse, was found beaten beyond recognition and connected to a heart machine in the Bill Pickard Hospital by family members yesterday after she was attacked the previous day.

According to information, her clothes were ripped from her body and she incurred severe head injuries after she was beaten to a pulp.

A passer-by who was on their way to work on Saturday found Barends on an open piece of land just a few metres from her home.

The passer-by alerted the police and she was admitted to hospital where she died the next day due to her injuries.

Her uncle, Booi BJ Barends, said the family has been left distraught following the incident.

“As a family we are traumatised and broken by this incident. It is something nobody expects to happen to their child. What is more traumatic is that it happened a few steps from her home. We are going through agony trying to figure out how this happened and whether she had screamed for help but nobody heard her,” he said.

He said that the family had started searching for Barends after she did not come home on Saturday.

“Nessa was at her brother’s house on Saturday. However, after she did not return home we started doing enquiries about her whereabouts. Her brother contacted the police. A detective who was at the scene showed her brother a picture of the woman who was attacked but we could not recognise her from that picture. The person who found Nessa was also not able to recognise her. The community members were also not able to recognise her and she was well-known to everyone in the area.

“We, however, decided to go to the hospital and later found out that it was her. We could hardly recognise her … Her head was swollen and she was hooked to a heart machine.”

He added that although Barends was connected to the heart machine, the family were still hopeful that she would recover.

“The nursing personnel said they had stabilised her but that she suffered severe head injuries. I was optimistic that she would wake up and did not dwell on her injuries.”


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