Mystery surrounds teen’s death

Police are still investigating the death of Phillip Volschenk.

The parents of a Brackenfell teenager whose body was found next to a railway line are still waiting to find out what led to their son’s death.

Phillip Volschenk, 16, went missing on Monday April 3. He was last seen at Brackenfell train station.

A rigorous search followed, and the neighbourhood watch even asked residents with drones to help them cover more ground.

The boy’s body was found next to the railway tracks between Stikland and Brackenfell on Tuesday April 4, at 7.54am.

“The cause of the incident is still under investigation by SAPS,” said Metrorail spokeswoman Riana Scott. She asked anyone with information to contact the Bellville Rapid Rail Response Unit.

Phillip’s father, Phillip Volschenk Sr, who lives in Welkom, posted a comment on Facebook last Wednesday saying robbers had killed Phillip for his cellphone.

But later, in an interview with the Northern News after arriving in Cape Town, he said that had just been a rumour and the circumstances leading up to his son’s death were unclear.

Provincial police spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Andre Traut said the investigation into the teenager’s death was still ongoing and “this office will not be speculating prematurely on the matter”.

Rumours on social media claimed Phillip had either been pushed or had fallen from a train during a robbery, but Ms Scott could not confirm that.

According to Mr Volschenk, Phillip had given his phone to someone who had boarded the train. Phillip had then followed the boy on board to retrieve his phone.

“I spoke to the inspector and apparently he was not robbed. What happened on the train, no one knows, but there are a lot of rumours,” he said. “Police are still investigating, but they are taking it as a natural death at the moment.”

Mr Volschenk said Phillip’s mother had declined to speak to the media.