As police continue to investigate the circumstances surrounding the horrific death of a 69-year-old granny from West Coast Berbice, one person has since been arrested and is now in police custody assisting with the investigations.
The suspect has since been identified as Frankie Hookumchand, a farmer who regularly grazes his animals on the old woman’s property.
However, Hookumchand reportedly told investigators that he did not graze his animals on the property for the past weeks but a resident told reporters that the man was on the land sometime around 14:00 hrs on Sunday, the very day Bhagwandai ‘Deeda’ Deonarine ‘s body was burning in the backyard.
Smoke was reportedly seen coming from the yard around 11:00 am by the said resident that day but he assumed it was garbage burning.
According to a source who is associated with Deonarine, Hookumchand would often visit the woman’s home. Recently he had asked her to stay in the lower flat of the two-storeyed building after experiencing issues in his marriage with his
Bhagwandai ‘Deeda’ Deonarine’s charred remains was discovered still burning in her backyard at Plantation Hope, West Coast Berbice sometime around 20:00 hrs on Sunday by a niece. It appeared that Deonarine had been killed then set alight.
According to the niece, her aunt lived alone but she would normally spend the nights with her and leave during the day. However on Sunday her suspicions grew when she called several times to check up on Deonarine and there was no answer. This led to her contacting the police.
“We search the house for her and we couldn’t find her and when we come down we see smoke at the back. We go and check and saw the body burnt; the head and so was visible but nothing else really was showing”, the niece said.
Traces of wood, tree branches and coconut shells were found near what was left of the body, indicating that such material was used to start the fire.
Kaieteur News was also told by a relative that approximately two years ago the home of Deonarine was broken into and she was beaten and robbed, leaving her with broken teeth. She had to undergo emergency surgery due to the injuries she sustained.
“He hit her with a belna and break out four of she teeth and she had an emergency operation where she had clot blood in the brains with Dr. Dukhi at Woodlands Hospital and it cost $1.8 M. The matter went to court and the boy had to go serve some time,” the relative said.
It is understood that the perpetrator was positively identified by the old woman then when she had testified in court.
That individual after serving time for the matter was reportedly released a few months ago from prison. Police sources have since confirmed that he was not the person they currently have in custody.
Deonarine’s body is currently at the Bailey’s Funeral Parlour.
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