Relatives and neighbours of US based Samantha Benjamin are still reeling from shock, after it was confirmed
that the dismembered body found on the Annandale foreshore last week Thursday was positively identified as hers.
The woman’s identity was confirmed by relatives who examined the remains at the Memorial Gardens and Crematorium in Le Repentir Cemetery yesterday, and identified distinguishing marks on her body.
This was almost a day after police swooped down on a Buxton Middle Walk house and found damning evidence of a brutal murder.
One man, who was in the house has been arrested and is being interrogated by investigators.
However, the man is reportedly maintaining that he had nothing to do with the woman’s death, changing his story to say that he was in Berbice when her body parts were discovered just off the seawall at Annandale.
Police cracked the case on Tuesday night after a cousin of the slain woman led detectives to the house Benjamin was staying in.
Inside, Detectives found a blood-spattered floor, pieces of flesh and two bloodstained sheets. There were also signs that someone had attempted to clean up the gory scene.
However when this newspaper visited the property yesterday, evidence of blood was observed from the bottom of the floor as well as on a wheelchair that investigators believe was used to transport Benjamin’s remains to the foreshore.
These were clear signs that Benjamin was slaughtered in the house.
But investigators are reportedly garnering nothing substantial from neighbours, most of whom claimed that they saw or heard nothing suspicious that could have pointed to the woman’s murder.
One neighbour told this newspaper that he is in a total state of shock that something like that could have occurred so close to his house.
He said that he had seen Benjamin from time to time, but would only greet her with the customary “good morning” or “good evening”, since he knew she was visiting from overseas.
According to the neighbour who lives alone, on Thursday last he observed all the commotion surrounding the discovery of a body on the foreshore, but did not venture to the scene which is about 400 meters away.
He too had no clue that the body had anything to do with his overseas based neighbour.
It was only after he saw a number of police ranks outside the house on Tuesday night that he became interested in what was taking place.
At first he thought that something had happened to the labourer he had seen tending to the chickens.
“But then I see police hold he up and I see a man with a camera, and I say, ‘Oh s*#t, is wha dis man do?’”
Even up to then he still did not link the situation to the discovery of the body on the foreshore.
It was only this morning that he made the connection.
“Is dis morning when I see police, den I start to pick up, and I say, ‘wha?’ I see people coming and start to look, look, den I say man something happen… But I sorry though,” the neighbour said.
He claimed that he did not know the young labourer personally, but he maintained that the suspect has to know something about the woman’s death.
He added though, that he did not see any strange characters at the house recently.
Kaieteur News understands that the 40 -year -old Benjamin had returned from the US a few months ago and was living with her ex-husband. She then moved to her father’s house on Middle Walk, Buxton, close to the seawall, about a month ago and shared the property with a labourer who was hired by her relative to rear chickens.
Investigators became suspicious about the labourer when he reportedly claimed that the last time he saw the woman was on Friday last. But Benjamin’s headless and limbless corpse was actually found on Thursday.
He however changed his tune yesterday, telling detectives that upon his return from Berbice on Friday, he discovered the woman’s room door was locked and he assumed that she had returned to her husband’s house or had left for the United States of America.
Police have received reports that the trader was planning to purchase a car. It is suspected that the killer learnt of this transaction and tortured, and subsequently butchered Benjamin to get his hands on the money.
According to reports, her shocked ex-husband claimed that he was to have accompanied Benjamin to buy the car. But then repeated calls to her phone went to voicemail.
The dead woman’s aunt, Bridgette Abrams told this newspaper that she had no clue that the dismembered body was that of her niece.
“I was seeing on TV about this unidentified woman and I was saying to myself, ‘like this woman ain’t have no family’. That was the first thing that came to my mind,” Abrams told this newspaper.
She said that she did not miss Benjamin since, “she is an adult…she was busy and I was busy also.”
But nothing prepared her for the news she received on Tuesday night.
“I was coming from church and I got a phone call and the person said that the woman was my niece. I asked the person if they mad! But then the person said yes. I can’t describe my reaction,” Abrams explained.
Ironically, Benjamin’s death is a double blow for Abrams. She lost her stepson, Guyana Geology and Mines Commission engineer Trevor Abrams, who was gunned down on February 27 last on the East Bank Demerara Public Road in the vicinity of Diamond.
Now that the body has been positively identified, investigators are awaiting the post mortem examination to shed some light on how Benjamin met her death.
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