Police are trying to ascertain whether another young woman may have had an encounter with the killer of Qualfon receptionist, Ranella Benfield, near the cemetery where Benfield’s body was found.
The woman, who is pregnant, was reportedly attacked while walking near the Triumph, East Coast Demerara cemetery on Saturday.
Her assailant reportedly tried to drag her into the cemetery, and only let her go after she gave him her cell phone. Benfield is believed to have been slain on the same night that the other woman was attacked.
At present, police have five suspects in custody. They are said to be teens who reside in Beterverwagting, East Coast Demerara area.
Benfield‘s body was found in the cemetery around 07:00 hrs on Monday, two days after she was reported missing.
She was lying face up and bore injuries to her face. A postmortem indicated that the blows were inflicted with a blunt object. It also revealed that she was not sexually assaulted,
Investigators found a blood-stained rock near the body. They believe that the victim was slain in the cemetery.
Benfield, of Lot 99 Canterbury Walk, Beterverwagting, East Coast Demerara, was last seen around 18:00 hrs on Saturday by one of her colleagues.
It is suspected that she might have been killed the same night since persons in the area reportedly heard screams in the vicinity of the cemetery, which is reportedly used by the Muslim community.
There are reports that the graveyard is always secured with a padlock, but there is a space between the gates, through which persons can enter.
Michael, a friend of the deceased, said that the receptionist was with a group of friends who were planning a night out to Mahaicony but cancelled at the last moment after she had to work a little late on Saturday.
Her friends included Stephen Phillip, Abeanna Harris and Aresh Harris who died in an accident at Mahaicony while returning home from a pool party.
Neighbours said that the teen was a ‘quiet’ and ‘friendly’ person who would have celebrated her 19th birthday in a few days.
Benfield’s murder comes one week after the lifeless body of 22-year old Marissa Fraser was found dumped in a trench at Number Five Village, West Coast Berbice (WCB). Oudit Persaud, 38 years, of No. 4 Village, WCB, has since been charged with the murder.
And, on November 5, last, school teacher, Kescia Branche of First Street, Cummings Lodge, was found unconscious at the junction of Princess Street and Louisa Row. She died shortly after.
Taxi driver, Matthew Munroe, was charged almost a month later with her murder.
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