KEY POINTS

  • The hotel owner was charged with two counts of murder
  • The deaths occurred in April 2020
  • The couple’s blood contained more than 70% of the deadly gas

A South African hotel owner was charged with murder Tuesday after a young couple staying at his guesthouse died apparently of carbon monoxide poisoning.

The bodies of Jean Vosloo, 25, and Mari Hoon, 28, of Gauteng, were recovered from inside the Kliphuis Guesthouse in the Eastern Cape on April 26, 2020. The discovery sparked a year-long police investigation, which culminated in the arrest of the hotel owner, Kevin Pretorius, 47, media outlet News.com reported. 

Pretorius was charged with two counts of murder after he appeared in court.

The engaged couple had checked into the property with their friend Stephan during their holiday. Their bodies were discovered by Stefan who informed the authorities, the outlet reported.

The couple didn’t suffer injuries in their bodies, and it was found in a subsequent police investigation their blood contained more than 70% of the deadly gas, which resulted in their deaths.

"Pretorius’s arrest follows an extensive investigation, which started on April 26 2020 as an inquest, after a couple was found dead in the bathroom of his Kliphuis Guesthouse on Zuuranys farm about 17km outside Kareedouw," a police spokesperson told Times Live Reports.

"Mari Hoon, 28, and Jéan Vosloo, 25, were enjoying a long weekend at the Zuuranys farm in Kareedouw with a friend, who found their lifeless bodies inside a shower on the morning of April 26 2020. They had no visible injuries."

The cops initially believed it was a faulty gas boiler that was to blame for the deaths. However, the specific details as to what led to the charging of Pretorius weren’t revealed.

The investigation involved interviews with several people, including experts before the arrest was made.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has described carbon monoxide as "an odorless, colorless gas that can kill you." It is produced by a gas boiler or a fire in case there is a lack of oxygen. Once inhaled, the lethal gas blocks the red blood cells in the body, thereby deterring them from transporting oxygen, which leads to a person’s death. The most common symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include dizziness, nausea, headache, weakness and upset stomach.

Family dies of possible carbon monoxide poisoning A family of four was found dead of possible carbon monoxide poisoning in the town of Parks, Arizona, Jan.1, 2017. Photo: Getty Images/Mario Tama