(By Mondale Smith and Rabindra Rooplall)
Terrifying screams for help in the Herstelling, East Bank Demerara village rent the air about 10:30hrs yesterday. Seconds later, as blood spurted from her body, Donnette Greenman Warde, 36, dashed out of the upper flat of lot 100 First Street screaming “Patrick Help, he coming with a knife”.
She was the victim of a brutal attack. She sustained two stabs in the region of her heart with “a Rambo knife” while she lay on her bed. Her other injuries included several stabs about her upper chest, gashes to her hands and cuts about her feet which some law men said indicated that though she was caught off guard she fought her attacker.
She darted past shop owner (Patrick) two doors east, and sought refuge in a storeroom where she collapsed, took her last gulp of air and died in a pool of her own blood. Her niece, Stacy DeCambra, 21, reported that she was attacked, too, but managed to escape unhurt. She said that amidst the screams, she ran into her aunt’s room and saw the man and he turned in her direction and her aunt ran out of the house.
The blood that splattered the stairway, the yard, the roadway and the shop told an all too familiar story of a crime of passion. The general consensus in the community was that the man was in love while his wife was no longer interested because of the abuse and he could not deal with it.
“When she run pass me I see he come out the door with a knife. I also see he head up the road and I jump on me bike and start follow he. Then a friend ask if the shop get robbed but when I tell he part of the story he collect he baseball bat and run behind the man,” the neighbour said.
He said that seeing his friend with the baseball bat, the attacker headed to the public road and crossed the trench. “When he reached over the trench a plainclothes policeman was there and after I tell he that the man just kill a woman I went to the police station and they came and pick he up.”
Back at the scene, a taxi was summoned but when the driver saw the blood he refused to render assistance and a neighbour opted to transport her to the Diamond Diagnostic Centre in his canter truck. “The doctors there really try to pump she back to life but she had already lost too much blood”.
Her attacker who is now in police custody was identified by the shop owner and her niece, Sherry, as Donnette’s estranged husband. The two had been married for several years and lived in Barbados up until two years ago when he remigrated to Guyana.
According to the woman’s relatives, the attacker was unemployed for a long time while the victim worked and took care of him in Barbados during their time under the same roof.
She remained on the island but frequented Guyana as a trader and had only returned Wednesday last to purchase stock to return within two weeks. Her 14-year-old daughter is in Barbados.
At the Diamond Diagnostic Centre, yesterday, Princess Pieters, the dead woman’s mother, lamented, “I tell she to stay as far away as possible from that man because I always saw danger in him. Now he kill she, he kill my baby.”
The 63-year-old woman last saw her daughter alive yesterday morning about 6:00hrs when she left to ply her trade as a Stabroek Market vendor.
Their relationship in Barbados was strained to the point that he threatened to kill her on several occasions, once by placing a broken bottle to her neck. Donette’s mother said that she became fearful for her daughter’s well-being after that ordeal.
The woman recalled, “When he threatened to kill she the matter was reported to the Barbados police then they separated and he came back to Guyana but he never leave her alone. He always turns up to look for she.”
The police yesterday said they have commenced investigations into the murder. Their investigations have revealed that Warde arrived in the country recently and was residing at her mother’s home at Herstelling.
Her husband, Jeffrey Warde, of Durban Street, Georgetown, is alleged to have gone there yesterday morning and an argument ensued between them during which he stabbed her about the body with a knife, the police said.
He also attacked her niece, Stacy DeCambra, 21, who managed to escape unhurt, they added.
Donnette Warde was taken to the Diamond Diagnostic Centre where she was pronounced dead.
The suspect has been arrested and is in police custody and the knife believed to be the murder weapon has been recovered and is lodged with the police. She was one of six children for her mother.
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