Jul 09, 2016 News
– friends to remain in custody until post mortem
The search for missing University of Guyana Civil Engineer student, Harris Anthony Persaud, ended shortly after 17.00 hrs yesterday, with the discovery of his body in the Demerara River.
Persaud’s uncle, Bobby Sookdeo, found his nephew’s remains, clad only in underwear, in the vicinity of Vriesland, West Bank of Demerara.
Ranks from the Marine Police Division brought the corpse ashore at Garden of Eden, East Bank Demerara, before it was taken away by hearse.
‘A’ Division Commander, Clifton Hicken, said that while the body bore no marks of violence, police will await the results of a post mortem before releasing the two UG students in whose company Persaud was reportedly last seen.
On Thursday night, the students, aged 19 and 20, had accompanied police to areas on East Coast Demerara where they had disposed of Persaud’s clothing, haversack and other belongings.
Persaud’s haversack was reportedly found near the Enmore Railway Embankment. Some of his clothes were reportedly dumped in a trench at Turkeyen, while his iPad and cell phone, which were not found, were reportedly disposed of near Buxton.
“We are still questioning them…There are some inconsistencies in their statements, and the fact that they moved the clothing from one place to the next is suspicious,” Hicken said.
Persaud, 19, of Cane Grove, East Coast Demerara, vanished on Wednesday after leaving classes at the University and visiting two of his colleagues, who were renting an apartment at Turkeyen, East Coast Demerara.
The student’s father, Nandkumar Persaud, said that after his son failed to arrive home, he contacted the two students, who confirmed that they had seen Persaud.
But the friends claimed that Persaud subsequently left for Mahaica, where he is on a three-year-attachment at H. Nauth and Sons Civil Engineering Contractors.
“On Wednesday night I called them and they said that my son left to go to work,” Mr. Persaud said.
But the woman who rented the two friends the Turkeyen apartment told Persaud’s relatives that the three friends had left together on Wednesday in a car.
Acting on this information, detectives on Thursday took the two students into custody. Under intense questioning, the youths reportedly told investigators that Persaud had accompanied them to the Kingston seawalls, near the Marriot Hotel. They claimed that they were all swimming in the Atlantic when a wave swept Persaud away. One of the students recalled clinging to a rock.
It is alleged that the friends then panicked and disposed of Persaud’s clothing, haversack and other items on the East Coast of Demerara.
Mr. Persaud yesterday appeared convinced that his son met his demise while swimming.
“I don’t think that it is foul play. I think they (the students) became afraid and panicked. But I blame them, because I know them. They should have said something. They should have shouted out to persons in the area (when the mishap occurred.)”
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