As she lay in hospital with a blackened eye and swollen face, 36-year-old Zaila Sugrim told a young Kaieteur News reporter last December that her
husband had threatened to kill her and leave her “in a shallow grave.”
Yesterday, a team of detectives dug up what they believe to be Mrs. Sugrim’s bound, wrapped, and decomposing remains from a shallow grave behind a Crane, West Coast Demerara gas station that her husband, Ryan Sugrim, operates.
Sources said that the victim, who was wearing a flowered dress, was bound hand and foot with strips of cloth. Kaieteur News understands that she appeared to have been badly beaten.
Her features were reportedly too decomposed to allow for a positively identification.
The killer had set a fire over the grave, apparently in an attempt to obliterate the spot.
As detectives worked at their gruesome task, a handcuffed Ryan Sugrim sat a short distance away in a police vehicle.
Some of the victim’s close relatives were among the many who rushed to the area after news of the discovery spread.
The body was subsequently taken to the Ezekiel Funeral Home, while the slain woman’s husband was taken to a police station for further questioning.
Kaieteur News understands that Mr. Sugrim was taken into custody on Monday after police received reports that his estranged wife, a mother of five, was missing.
She was said to have been last seen alive on Saturday, when she entered her husband’s vehicle.
But a senior police official said that the detained husband has given no statement that has implicated him.
The official stressed that investigators had a lot of work to do before they could consider the case closed.
“(The husband) has told us nothing up to now, and no relative has identified the remains. We will have to build a case; we will have to do a postmortem and do DNA tests.”
According to reports, Mrs. Sugrim visited one of her sons on Saturday. She reportedly later left with her estranged spouse.
When she failed to return home, relatives reportedly tried to contact her. After several futile attempts they reported her missing.
The official who spoke to Kaieteur News said that investigators received information about a shallow grave near the gas station at Crane that the missing woman’s spouse operates.
In late December, Zaila Sugrim was hospitalized for five days after she was allegedly beaten by her spouse, from whom she had separated last August.
She had left him allegedly over his abusive behaviour. She had claimed that her spouse had also bound her with duct tape.
The assault allegedly occurred in his car.
She alleged that while choking her, he said, “I will kill you and leave you in a shallow grave.”
Ryan Sugrim, 37, was later charged for unlawful restraint and causing grievous bodily harm.
However, Zaila Sugrim later told Kaieteur News that she had dropped the matter after being compensated.
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