– suspect admits strangling her with shoe lace
By Rabindra Rooplall
The nude body of a female taxi driver was found in a clump of bushes, one mile from Jubilee Fun Park and Resort, Timehri, East Bank Demerara (EBD) early yesterday morning.
From all indications Savitri Palmer, also known as Maya, a mother of two who resided at Loncke’s Avenue, Soesdyke, EBD, was raped and strangled on Saturday night, several hours before her body was discovered.
Her body was found lying face down with her head pressed into the earth.
The woman’s eight-year-old son was found sleeping in the rear seat of her abandoned taxi hours later by her husband Kissoon Palmer, who had decided to search for her after she went missing.
The car, a silver grey Toyota Carina 212, PPP 2183 was parked several yards from where her body was dumped.
All reports indicate that Ms. Palmer was murdered by a young sand pit employee who she had offered a lift, after picking him up at his workplace. The alleged killer is said to have used one of the laces from his boots to strangle Palmer.
The alleged perpetrator, who was only identified as “Rambo”, was apprehended yesterday by the police after he was found hiding in a wardrobe at the living quarters at Bashir Sandpit, Linden/ Soesdyke Highway. He reportedly gave investigators a statement in which he admitted to killing the woman.
This was after he was caught with Palmer’s gold ring and her cell phone in his pocket. He also had several scratches and lacerations around his neck.
Palmer operated a snackette at the Soesdyke Junction and has been working taxi for several years.
Reports reveal that on Saturday night, after dropping off passengers at a Buddy’s Chicken Farm in Yarrowkabra on the Soesdyke-Linden Highway, Palmer picked up the suspect, who is known to her, while he was standing alone on the roadside.
This newspaper was told that the man had begged for a drop to the Loam Pit in Timehri. However, when they reached the location, Palmer was overpowered and dragged into an isolated bushy area where she was raped and strangled with a black bootlace. All of this happened as her son lay sleeping in the back seat of the car.
Kamal Kissoon Palmer, the husband, who is also a taxi driver, told Kaieteur News that while returning from a trip with a customer on Saturday evening, he received a call from his wife, stating that she was dropping off two persons at Buddy’s Chicken Farm at Yarrowkabra.
“Then (she said) this person (Rambo) stop she and ask for a drop to loam pit, so I ask she if she know the person; she said not really, but the person working with Bashir Sandpit…she described the customer as a dougla boy.”
He said that he cautioned his wife to “deh pun yuh heights,” before the conversation ended.
He explained that the next occasion when he called his wife on her phone, all he heard was “Walk! Walk! and the phone cut off, so I try calling she back but there was no answer.”
Palmer said that he then stopped his car in the vicinity of the Yarrowkabra Glass Factory and kept trying to contact his wife. He then noticed a Community Policing Group pick-up “and someone that knows me ask me what I doing there, and I told him that I am waiting on my girl. I don’t really call her my wife, I does say girl, and I told them that I was having problems getting onto her.”
After becoming impatient, he decided to venture in search of his wife. Mr. Palmer said that while taking the trail his wife used, he eventually discovered her vehicle near the ‘loam pit.’ His eight-year-old son was asleep in the back seat but there was no sign of his wife.
“I go in my car and collect my torchlight and start to look, then I see her slippers, footprint and some of her clothes, I also found my son in the back seat of the car. Then I start to call out for she. Then I pick up my phone and call the police and they say they coming.”
Adding that he had to head out from the loam pit to the public road to escort the police to the crime scene, Mr. Palmer said “when we reach in now, I show them everything, then we hear a scream and we didn’t know directly which part the scream coming from, then the police say, ‘the woman gone with she sweet man,’ and he (a police rank) say he got orders from some big one that he got to carry in the car and lodge it with the clothes and everything, and I got to cooperate with he.”
Lamenting that he eventually left the scene and was escorted to the Timehri Police Station, Mr Palmer said he gave a statement and left the station at 4:00 hrs yesterday.
“At that same time when I was leaving with my son, I received a call from my wife cell phone and when I answer, nobody answering. Then when I give my son Carlos to answer the phone, which was on ‘speaker’; the person on the other end say ‘you mommy ain’t coming home’, and although the police hear that, they said I have to wait until 24 hours after and if she don’t turn up then they will search.”
He said that a search was launched early Sunday morning at 6:00 hrs, and two hours later, the body of his wife was found, after which a call was made to the Timehri Police Station. The police arrived hours later.
A relative of the slain woman suggested that Savitri Palmer could have been saved had the police ranks who first arrived on Saturday night acted swiftly.
“Imagine he (husband) said that when the police come and he was telling them what happened, they suddenly heard a woman screaming through the bushes. And because they turn up without guns, they didn’t want to go and help or even check where the screams were coming from, and they already saw clues with the abandoned car and clothes all over,” the relative explained.
“They then turned back and arrested the husband and remove the vehicle and the child and carried them to the station after saying that is the ‘sweet man’ the woman deh with!”
“She was alive at the time and they could’a save her life, but they left her for dead and waited until the next day to go back in. And is only because family and relatives decided to go in search, then police arrived hours after when the body was already discovered.”
Reports revealed that several reports of rape were previously made against the suspect.
Kaieteur News was reliably informed that the suspect previously lived on the East Coast Demerara but fled that location after a report of rape was made against him. Reports were also made at Timehri Police Station since on many occasions he would follow his victims and attack them when he was sure that no one had seen him.
Relatives of the dead woman are lamenting the fact that despite all these reports, the suspect was never charged.
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