Guyanese under investigation in US for 2003 cold case murder
Michigan, US (NEWSCHANNEL 3) – Elliot Martin says his family had just moved into a home on Kalamazoo’s Alcott Street a few weeks earlier when detectives came knocking on his door.
“They had a search warrant,” says Martin.
Martin says the investigators from the Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety told him they were searching for evidence in a crime from years earlier. Martin says the crime scene team “wanted to dig a hole in the back yard, check the garage, and search the drains for evidence.”
Martin has since learned the person who used to live there is named Besham Brian Sugrim.
Right now, Sugrim is in the Kalamazoo County Jail, after being arrested in early May by Kalamazoo County Sheriff’s deputies. He’s charged with three felonies for an extremely violent abuse and assault case. His bond is set at $250,000.
Newschannel 3 has learned Sugrim is also being investigated for the 2003 murder of 39-year-old Linda Kay Gibson. Her body was found several blocks away from the Alcott street home where Sugrim lived.
Neighbors say Sugrim used to have a burn pit in his backyard, in the spot where police were digging.
“I didn’t know it was there,” says Martin. “It was covered in grass when I moved in.”
Martin says detectives removed several items from the hole and from the garage. He says one of the items prompted investigators to high-five, giving the impression the find was a significant one.
Several people who lived on Alcott when Sugrim was there say he was well known in the neighborhood, and used to teach kick-boxing in the backyard. Some, who didn’t want their names used, describe him as having “a temper.” Sugrim’s Facebook page names Western Michigan University’s School of Aviation as a previous employer.
The Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety will not comment on an ongoing investigation.
Newschannel 3 has also learned that federal investigators have placed a retainer on Sugrim. That hold means that United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement can begin the process of removing him from the country if he’s released from local custody. Sugrim’s facebook page names Georgetown, Guyana as his hometown.
There is also a federal case number related to Sugrim, but a search of that case reveals it is sealed.