* This is an updated story.
A leisurely morning run turned out to be an “horrific experience” for a Cape Town man, who was one of the first people to discover the lifeless body of a man along one of Table Mountain’s popular running trails.
A trail runner, who asked to remain anonymous, who went for his regular run along the Pipe Track and down Kasteelpoort, made the gruesome discovery at about 8.45am on Sunday. He was one of the first runners to come across the body of the unknown man with his throat slit from “ear to ear”. The man, a trail racer, described the scene as one “from a horror movie”.
In a Facebook post he warned other runners about the dangers of running alone, albeit on popular routes.
“I was running down Kasteelpoort, and I thought it was strange that I was not seeing other runners along the way. As I was coming down, it must have been about a third of the way down, (when) I saw a big flat rock, I believe they call it ‘Breakfast rock’. I saw a body laying there. The police had just arrived. I saw a trail of blood and police officers had just covered the body with a blanket,” he said.
He added the man was still clothed in his Camelbak running gear and running shoes. It is however unclear if the man is a runner.
He said the woman who first came across the body and alerted police, told authorities that the man’s “throat was slit from ear to ear” and his wallet and phone was not stolen.
“The police said they suspect the man had been murdered. That and the fact that nothing was stolen from him is a cause for alarm. I just would like to warn runners and hikers. I was up that mountain and I was thinking to myself that it was unsafe running alone.
“I feel bad for the man’s family. It is really horrific, I am still shocked at what happened,” he said.
Police had intially thought that the man had been murdered but on Monday said it could have been an accident.
Police spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Andre Traut said that a death inquest case docket has been opened.
“Preliminary investigations on the scene suggested that the man was a victim of crime and that he sustained a stab wound, however after a thorough investigation it was discovered that he possibly fell and sustained the fatal wound as a result thereof.
Wilderness Search and Rescue spokesman Johan Marais said that its rescue teams were assisting police with the “packaging of the body”.
Marais said: “The body would most probably be flown off the mountain by Skymed.”