A toddler has been crying for his mother after she was hacked to death by attackers while she slept during a romantic holiday in South Africa, his family have revealed.
Karen Turner and her husband Matthew, 33, were in bed at a luxury resort with their two-year-old son Hayden when two men armed with knives sneaked into their beach chalet at around 3am.
It is believed school teacher Karen, 31, died almost instantly in a hail of knife blows as her husband, who was stabbed several times, chased off the attackers at the Hluleka Nature Reserve on the Wild Coast in the Eastern Cape.
Mrs Turner’s brother, Ian Crouch, revealed the couple’s toddler has been ‘crying for his mom’ and is ‘too young to understand what has happened’ as his father recovers in hospital.
Karen Turner and her husband Matthew, 33, were asleep at a luxury resort with their two-year-old son Hayden (pictured as a newborn) when two men armed with knives sneaked into their beach chalet at around 3am
‘He spent the weekend with us. I just dropped him off at Matthew’s parents. When he is hungry, upset or sleeping, he cries for his mom. But I think that’s normal. He is too young to understand what has happened,’ he told told TimesLIVE.
The mother – who had celebrated her birthday just hours before – was killed along with her unborn child which turned the bedroom, stairs and downstairs into a ‘bloodbath’ as the brave husband chased off the two men.
Mr Turner, a dairy farmer, who lived in Underberg with his wife and son, was stabbed in the stomach and underwent surgery to remove part of his intestine.
During the horrific attack, Karen had begged her husband to check on their toddler moments before dying.
Karen, 31, died almost instantly in a hail of knife blows as her husband Matthew, who was stabbed several times, chased off the attackers (pictured at their wedding in 2017)
Mr Crouch told South African new site The Witness: ‘Matthew said he chased after them and Karen was behind him. He remembers her saying to him to check on Hayden,’ he said.
‘He tried to follow the men but saw them jump off the balcony. When he turned around, Karen had collapsed.’
It came comes just days before Prince Harry arrived in South Africa with his wife Meghan and son Archie.
The family had booked into the Hluleka Nature Reserve on the Wild Coast in the Eastern Cape (pictured) for a holiday to celebrate Karen’s 31st birthday on the cliffs that overlook the Indian Ocean
During the horrific attack, Karen had begged her husband to check on their toddler moments before dying (Pictured: Karen and Matthew Turner on their wedding day)
The royal couple have taken their son on a tour to visit Harry’s ‘favourite place in the world’ – where crime is spiralling out of control with over 21,000 murders and 45,000 rapes carried out last year.
The army is currently deployed on the streets in townships on the outskirts of Cape Town to try and prevent more killings.
South African Police said they have one suspect they are trying to trace and confirmed his arrest will be made very shortly.
Mr Crouch told News24 that he had spoken to his brother-in-law when he came out of life saving surgery after being airlifted to Pietermaritzburg Hospital.
He said: ‘Matthew’s recollection was that he was woken up by being stabbed in the stomach by a guy on his side of the bed and there was another chap stabbing my sister.
Mr Turner was airlifted by helicopter to hospital but nothing could be done to save his wife and unborn child (pictured at their wedding in 2017)
‘He said he managed to sort of grab the guy and there was a tussle down the stairs’.
Mr Crouch drove to the scene, which he described as a ‘blood bath’, and said the balcony door had been open and the windows on latches as it was a hot night.
He confirmed it appeared nothing had been stolen and that their mobiles were by their bed.
Timber merchant Mr Crouch also confirmed his sister, who taught at Underberg Primary School in their home town in KwaZulu-Natal province, was about three months pregnant.
The couple lived in Underberg where they had just bought a home together on the farm that husband Matthew manages (pictured at their wedding in 2017)
The couple lived in Underberg where they had just bought a home together on the farm Matthew manages. They married in July 2017, and Hayden was born four months later.
Friends of the couple, who were on holiday with them, were awoken by the sounds of a struggle and Hayden screaming. They hammered on the door and Matthew answered covered in blood.
A family friend of the couple was fortunately not injured in the horror attack.
The mother – who had celebrated her birthday just hours before – was killed along with her unborn child (pictured at their wedding in 2017)
Mr Turner was airlifted by helicopter to hospital but nothing could be done to save his wife and unborn child.
Eastern Cape Parks and Tourism Agency CEO Vuyani Dayimani said: ‘The two guests were booked in from Monday to Thursday and police were called after a stabbing incident.
‘The police have confirmed one visitor passed away and another is in hospital.
‘As an agency who manage the reserve we are shocked that his taken place in one of our flagship coastal reserves as the safety and security of our guests is our key priority’.