Pretoria Couple Found Dead in Tent at Festival in Clarens

Local News/28 September 2023,10:04am /Staff Writer

Carl Koen and Sharon de Villiers:Image Facebook/ Carl Koen

By Staff Writer: A tragic incident unfolded at a popular festival in Clarens, as a Pretoria couple was discovered lifeless inside their tent. The pair, identified as Sharon de Villiers (50) and Carl Koen (52), were declared dead at the scene, leaving festival-goers and authorities in shock.

According to reports, the couple had been attending a Suzuki Jimny event at the Langkranz campsite in the eastern Free State. The gathering was meant to bring together car owners for a record-breaking attempt, where participants synchronized their headlights. The event, initially filled with excitement and camaraderie, took a somber turn with the unexpected discovery.

Captain Loraine Earle, spokesperson for the Free State Police, provided details about the incident. She revealed that the event organizer had alerted the authorities upon finding the lifeless couple. The discovery was made on Sunday, and it was only during the dismantling of tents on Monday, September 25, at around 1:00 pm, that the pungent smell of gas alerted organizers to a potential hazard.

“The event organizers detected a strong gas odor emanating from one of the tents and decided to investigate,” stated Captain Earle. “Upon entering the tent, they found both victims lying on their bed. A gas bottle, with a teapot resting on top, was also discovered inside. Tragically, both individuals were pronounced dead at the scene.”

The police spokesperson assured the public that foul play is not suspected in this case. However, the exact cause of death remains unknown at this time. Authorities are conducting a thorough investigation to shed light on the tragic circumstances surrounding the couple’s demise.

News of the couple’s untimely passing quickly spread through various channels, including a WhatsApp group dedicated to sharing updates on the gathering. The tight-knit community of festival attendees mourned the loss of Sharon de Villiers and Carl Koen, remembering them for their participation and presence at the event.

As the investigation unfolds, questions linger about what led to this unfortunate incident. The festival, once filled with joy and celebration, is now overshadowed by grief and a sense of loss. The community remains united in support of the bereaved families, seeking solace during this difficult time.


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