If the police had taken appropriate action, 31-year-old Deon Stephens might have been still around to look after her four children.
This is the view of her relatives who revealed yesterday that Stephens’ reputed husband had threatened to kill her in the presence of ranks at the Vigilance Police Station, where she had gone earlier this week to report a case of domestic abuse.
The woman, a security guard attached to Neal and Massy Solutions, was mercilessly stabbed to death at about 22:30 hours on Monday by her reputed husband, who is well known as ‘Muff’, as she was about to take a bath in her mother’s outdoor bathroom at Vigilance South, East Coast Demerara.
The murder occurred a day after Stephens had packed up her belongings and moved out of the home she shared with her reputed husband to escape an abusive seven-year relationship.
Stephens was cornered and stabbed in the chest, neck and right breast.
The palm of her right hand was also badly slashed from trying to grab her attacker’s knife.
Her brother Samuel told Kaieteur News that although her children and some other family members were around, there was very little anyone could have done to stop the brutal attack.
The young man said that Stephens’ mother Desiree tried to intervene but was pushed aside by the attacker, resulting in her receiving a cut on her hand.
“Deon start hollering, ‘Muff, Muff, this you gon do to me’,” the dead woman’s brother recalled.
Stephens managed to run up the short flight of stairs of her mother’s modest house but her attacker pursued her and inflicted the fatal wounds after dragging her back to the ground.
The killer then fled and has not been seen since despite a massive manhunt by the police.
Yesterday police received several calls informing them that the killer had committed suicide and his body was in the backlands of Buxton/Friendship. However, checks on at least two of the locations given came up blank.
This newspaper visited the scene of the killing yesterday and there was blood spattered on the door, evidence of the woman’s desperate attempt to escape the assault. Relatives said that she had cause to report several incidents of abuse to the police, but despite several warnings, nothing significant was done to end the constant beatings.
But on Sunday night things took a turn for the worse, when the couple was engaged in a heated argument while at a birthday party for her mother.
Natasha Stephens, the woman’s cousin, told Kaieteur News that they were all at the party when Deon Stephens received a call on her cellular phone.
This angered her reputed husband who was playing music for the party at the time.
“She tell he ‘Muff, is me supervisor call’ but he seh no, is some man,” Natasha related.
She said that she tried to bring calm to the potentially violent situation, but Stephens’ reputed husband paid her no mind and continued to verbally abuse the woman.
Natasha said that the angry man began packing up his music equipment, bringing an abrupt end to the birthday party.
Sensing that something bad was about to happen, Stephens’ relatives advised her not to return to the home she shared with her eventual killer.
“He turn to she and seh, ‘ah gone kill you, you can’t lef me’,” Natasha Stephens recounted.
The following day, Monday, Stephens went to the Vigilance police station where she reported the matter.
Kaieteur News understands that police ranks accompanied her to the home she shared with her reputed husband and watched as she packed her belongings, which she eventually took to her mother’s Vigilance South home.
“He tell de police, ‘Ah gone kill she’. In front de police he say he gone kill she,” Natasha Stephens recalled.
But the police apparently paid no mind to the reported threats and the end result was that the man made good on his evil intentions.
Family members yesterday expressed the hope that Stephens’ killer would be apprehended by the police soon and made to stand trial for murder, since there are rumours that he planned to take his own life.
The woman leaves to mourn four children, ages nine to 14 years, whom she bore from another relationship.
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