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Police in South Africa find body of missing Olympian, world champion Jacques Freitag

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A missing persons case surrounding former Olympian and high jump world champion Jacques Freitag has turned into a murder investigation after authorities in South Africa said his body had been discovered in a field near a cemetery. 

Freitag, 42, was reported missing last month. 

According to ESPN,  his sister took to social media for help when he disappeared after leaving his mother’s home on June 17. She revealed at the time that he had been battling drug addiction since retiring from competition, the report stated. 

But this week authorities confirmed that Freitag’s body has been discovered in a field near a cemetery in the city of Pretoria.

South African Police Service Brigadier Brenda Muridili said Wednesday that the case has since been opened as a murder investigation. 

Jacques Freitag celebrates


“I can confirm that a missing person’s case in Hercules has been changed to a case of murder,” Muridili said, via ESPN. “No one has been arrested yet but the police are following up on leads.”

World Athletics said on its website that Freitag’s body had been found with “multiple gunshot wounds.” 

Jacques Freitag medals

Freitag represented South Africa in the 2004 Olympics and the 2003 World Championships in Paris, where he won gold.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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