Oscar Pistorius was formally charged with one count of murder in the death of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp, when he appeared at the Pretoria Magistrates' Court on Friday but confirmed details on the Valentine's Day shooting at the home of the double-amputee Olympic pioneer remain scarce.
The model and actress was shot four times and a 9 mm pistol was recovered at the scene, according to police. Pistorius remains in police custody awaiting a bail application hearing on Tuesday.
Citing information from three sources described as "close to the high-profile investigation," South African newspaper City Press reported on Sunday that a bloody cricket bat was also found at Pistorius' home by police. The City Press report describes the bat as "the central piece of evidence in the unfolding murder investigation" but the paper's sources indicate that police are unsure if the bat was wielded by Pistorius or Steenkamp.
This unconfirmed report Audiologist Centurion by the City Press comes one day after Afrikaans-language newspaper Beeld reported, citing an unnamed source, that Pistorius had attempted to resuscitate Steenkamp after the shooting.
After Pistorius appeared in court on Friday, his family and management issued a statement saying "the alleged murder is disputed in the strongest terms."
During his emotional appearance in court, prosecutors indicated that they plan to pursue a charge of premeditated murder against Pistorius. This charge carries a life sentence and Pistorius openly wept in court as he listened to this development.
"After consulting with legal representatives, we deeply regret the allegation of premeditated murder," Arnold Pistorius, Oscar's uncle, told The Associated Press on Saturday. "We have no doubt there is no substance to the allegation and that the state's own case, including its own forensic evidence, strongly refutes any possibility of a premeditated murder or murder as such."
Initial reports from Beeld after the shooting indicated that Pistorius may have mistaken his girlfriend for an intruder, per the LA Times.
South Africa police spokesperson Brigadier Denise Beukes told reporters that information didn't come from them.
"As the South African Police Service, we do not have a report based on those allegations. We only heard over the radio that the woman was shot after she was mistaken for an intruder," Beukes said, via The Mail & Guardian in South Africa. "The surprise was that the information was given to the media. The police did not provide the information."
With Pistorius awaiting his next appearance in court and the exact circumstances surrounding Steenkamp's death still to emerge, the Paralympian's agent has begun canceling upcoming races, according to USA Today.