Murder for hire…
By Michael Jordan
A Hague, West Coast Demerara resident said he saw a strange man leaving Bibi Rafeena Saymar’s flat minutes after someone brutally silenced her screams for help.
His description of the stranger is strikingly similar to that of the 22-year-old labourer who has allegedly confessed to sneaking into the hairdresser’s flat through an open window and killing her.
The resident told Kaieteur News that he was awakened shortly after 01:00 hrs on Saturday by repeated screams of ‘rape’, and “a big heavy tumbling and fighting” in the hairdresser’s flat.
His first thought was that Rafeena and her reputed husband were having a spat. But when he peered outside and failed to see the man’s vehicle, he realised that Rafeena’s husband was not at home.
The man said that he then realised that the hairdresser was being attacked.
Not daring to venture outside, the man decided to alert the other neighbours.
“I shouted out to neighbours, but at that hour of the morning no one answered.”
The eyewitness said that the screams subsided at around 01:30 hrs and at around 01:45 hrs, he saw a man coming down Rafeena’s steps. He recalled that the stranger was dreadlocked, slim and about five feet seven inches tall.
“He was walking confidently as if nothing happened,” the eyewitness said. According to him, the stranger headed east before disappearing from view.
After the stranger had left, the eyewitness said that he emerged from his home and told his neighbours that “something happen to the girl upstairs.”
A woman who lives in the flat below Rafeena called the police.
But the eyewitness said that about 15 minutes later after the call was made, Rafeena’s husband arrived in his pickup.
“I stopped him in front of my house and say ‘something happen to your wife.’”
“He said: ‘What? What?’ and I say (again) ‘something happen to your wife.’”
“He said ‘let me park’. He then parked, locked the vehicle, put on the alarm, and then went upstairs.”
Shortly after, Rafeena’s reputed husband ran back downstairs. “He say ‘y’all come, she on the floor’.”
The eyewitness said that he accompanied the husband and other neighbours into the couple’s flat, where they found Rafeena lying on the floor in pools of blood.
At that time, she was still alive and was groaning and pleading for help. He recalled that Rafeena was wearing her gold and diamond rings at the time. Relatives said that she was only wearing a silver anklet when they identified her at the West Demerara Regional Hospital Mortuary.
He confirmed that Rafeena managed to describe her attacker by ancestry.
They then took the badly injured woman outside. By then, the police had arrived but their vehicle got stuck in a ditch.
Rafeena was then placed in her reputed husband’s pickup and he took her to the Leonora Cottage Hospital. According to the eyewitness, “she was pretty gone by then.” He said the police eventually returned with the reputed husband in their vehicle and informed the neighbours that Rafeena had succumbed. She was reportedly stabbed at least 11 times.
The man said he overheard one of the policemen say: “You got to tell we who you paid.”
“We were in a state of shock,” he said. “She was very friendly, but quiet and very scared. When he (the spouse) was not at home she would come downstairs and talk to us, but as soon as she see a vehicle or a (vehicle) light she would run upstairs.”
Still in custody yesterday are Rafeena’s reputed husband, a 22-year-old labourer from Howes Street, Charlestown, and a taxi driver from Zeeburg, West Coast Demerara.
Kaieteur News understands that the labourer had confessed that he killed the hairdresser after Rafeena Saymar’s reputed husband promised to give him $200,000 for the job.
The alleged hit man also alleged that the detained taxi driver drove him to and from the scene.
Police reportedly nabbed the killer and the driver near the Demerara Harbour Bridge on Saturday after listening in on a telephone conversation between them and the alleged mastermind.
Police sources said that the taxi driver was nabbed with $200,000, which he was to have handed over to the labourer. Investigators have also impounded the man’s taxi.
In a release issued on Saturday, police stated, “diligent investigations by the police have unearthed evidence that her suspected killer was hired by her reputed husband.”
“In addition, a third man, who is believed to have transported the suspected killer during the commission of the crime, has been arrested by the police and is also in custody,” the release added.
Rafeena’s relatives are convinced that she was the victim of a murder plot that was hatched by a jealous spouse.
They described her relationship as an abusive one and claimed that Saymar had complained that her 55-year-old reputed husband constantly threatened to kill her.
They said that the man is into the real estate business and travels frequently to Canada.
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