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South African Police Investigate Murder at Star’s Childhood Home

File photo. iStockphoto/Thinkstock(BENONI, South Africa) -- Police are investigating a brutal murder at the same house in South Africa where Oscar-winning actress Charlize Theron lived as a child when her mother shot and killed her father.

The current resident of the property in the town of Benoni, about 18 miles from Johannesburg, was killed Friday by a gang of robbers, the South African Press Association reports.

A police spokeswoman said Barry Newman was forced into a bathroom where he was tied up and suffocated after the robbers put a plastic bag over his head.  Police believe he may have been burned with cigarettes and a clothes iron.

The five robbers gained access to the property by pretending to be interested in buying a used car for sale by Newman’s girlfriend.  The robbers also tied up the gardener and a domestic worker and forced them into another room.  No arrests have been made in the case.

The Benoni house was also a crime scene in June 1991 when Theron’s mother, Gerda Maritz, killed her husband in self-defense. The Hollywood actress was just 15 at the time and spent years lying about her father’s death.

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