Residents of Crane Housing Scheme, West Coast Demerara were plunged into shock and instant grief yesterday afternoon when they learnt of a surreal murder/suicide among their own.
Dead are 61-year-old Simon Boodhoo; his 11-year-old son, Samuel and his six-year-old daughter, Krystal, all of 18 Crane Housing Scheme, West Coast Demerara. Their bodies were discovered some time after 16:00 hours.
It is believed that after noon yesterday, Boodhoo administered fatal doses of a drug to the two children before hanging himself from a rafter in a backroom of the house he shares with the children’s mother, Donna Banarsee, and her two older sons.
The gruesome discovery was made by the 46-year-old Banarsee who was at work when the horrific act was carried out.
When this newspaper arrived on the scene yesterday, several villagers had already converged at Banarsee’s home, even as police ranks attempted to take charge of the scene.
Boodhoo’s body was still hanging from the bedroom rafter and a first glance at the two children appeared to be asleep. However, closer examination revealed that the young girl was frothing at the mouth, while the boy just lay there with his mouth open.
The visibly distraught mother said that she left for work at a West Coast Demerara Drug Store around 07:00 hours yesterday and left her four children at home with Boodhoo, her reputed husband. The woman said that her two older sons had left for work by lunch time, leaving the two younger children with their father.
Banarsee said that she returned home some time after 16:00 hours and found her home locked, giving her the impression that no one was at home. She said that she attempted to enter the house through the front door but could not since it was in fact locked from inside.
She was eventually able to make her entry through a back door. Immediately she called for her youngest son. The woman said that she got no response and also found it strange that her daughter had not come running to her as she would normally do.
According to Banarsee, she saw Boodhoo’s lighter and cigarette on a table and was surprised since he would usually keep them on his person.
The woman said that she started checking the house for the children, a search that ended in the back room of the house.
Unable to contain her emotions, the woman recounted how she glanced into the room and was confronted with her reputed husband’s body hanging from the ceiling. As she entered further into the room, the woman said that she saw her two young children lying on the bed.
She said that she rushed to them hoping to wake them up. It was at this point the thought dawned on her that Boodhoo might have killed her children.
“I feel them but they did feel warm and I see this white thing at Krystal mouth and I thought was cotton wool but then I see it was froth she frothing. And is then I realise like me children just dead.”
The woman told police officers that she had purchased poison some time ago to spray grass but it had not been used, causing detectives to suspect that the children were poisoned.
However, the woman later observed that the poison container was still sealed. She also discovered that a packet of Valium was all gone, giving her the impression that the man may have given the children the tablets.
Banarsee further shared her suspicions that the children’s father may have strangled them before hanging himself.
And according to the woman, she believes that the man had tested the medication on her young son the previous day as he (Samuel) slept for several hours and seemed to be in a daze when he awoke.
The woman said that when she questioned her husband about the child’s condition he attributed it to some work the child had done earlier in the day.
According to the Banarsee, while the man had threatened to harm her, himself and children on several occasions, she never believed that he would have actually carried out such an act.
She recounted though that it was the previous day that the man had told her that he was going to kill himself since it made no sense for him to continue living.
Banarsee said that she had been involved with the man for the past 13 years, during which the two children were conceived. The relationship, she disclosed, had its ups and its downs but yet she had her hopes about things getting better although the man was both verbally and physically abusive.
She related that it was just about one year ago the man became unable to work. He then developed a medical problem that had left him “feeling less a man”.
The woman disclosed, too, that it seemed that Boodhoo had also developed a mental problem and had even blamed the two young children for his impotence.
“He use to tell me that if the two of we got to left he gon kill them children and kill he self. But I woulda never leave he. All this time I working and minding he and them two li’l children and I aint left he.”
According to the woman, she was informed that her young son was last seen alive around midday yesterday when he went to a nearby shop to purchase biscuits. According to Banarsee, the boy had recently received the results of the National Grade Six Assessment and should have started High School in September. The young girl would have also started Primary school when the new school term commences.
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