South African police announced on Monday that they would prosecute a 21-year-old man with six counts of murder following the discovery of 12 bodies, some of which were in an advanced state of decomposition, at an apartment building in the heart of Johannesburg.
Police were called to the scene because of complaints about a bad smell emanating from one of the units, and they discovered a woman’s body, according to a statement from police spokesperson Brenda Muridili.
She claimed the deceased woman was dressed in a manner that matched a person who had been reported missing earlier in the month.
Police arrested and questioned a man believed to be the last person to have been seen with the woman.
“(They then) went back to the building, and five more bodies were discovered outside the building where there is a makeshift workshop and rubbish dumpsters,” Muridili said.
Forensics experts are working to identify the bodies and “police are following several leads,” Muridili told AFP.
Witnesses at the scene told authorities some sex workers had recently gone missing in the area, she added.