By Michael Jordan
“One of these days y’all gon hear that I dead.”
This was the prophecy that Radica Mohan, a young sales clerk from Best Village, West Coast Demerara, made to one of her close friends, some 21 years ago.
No one, perhaps even Radica herself, would have expected that prophecy to be so chillingly true.
On Wednesday, July 16, 1997, Radica’s mother, Paula Mohan, received a disturbing visit from friends who worked at the same large business firm at which Radica was employed. The friends told Mrs. Mohan that Radica had not reported to work since the previous Saturday.
That was news to the mother, who had last seen her daughter on July 10, which was also Radica’s birthday.
They then checked at Radica’s Best Village, West Coast Demerara home. Radica’s husband reportedly told them that he and Radica had slept together on the Sunday night of July 13, 1997. He claimed that his wife had awakened before him the following day.
According to his story, at around 6:30 am, Radica told him that she was going out. He alleged that he did not see her depart, since he remained in bed. There were even suggestions that Radica might have gone to French Guiana.
But there were things about this story that did not quite mesh. For instance, Radica’s uniforms, national identification card, a credit card, her watch, a pair of sneakers and handbags were still in the house.
Radica’s two small daughters, aged nine and ten, were not at home when all of this transpired. The day before she had vanished, Radica’s husband reportedly sent them to Georgetown to stay with relatives.
Then a neighbour of Radica’s confided that at around 05:00 am, on the day that the salesgirl had disappeared, he had heard a woman screaming: “Ow Daddy, Ow Uncle…”
The cries eventually stopped. Those screams had come from Radica Mohan’s home.
Fearing that Radica had met with foul play, relatives began to scour the vast Best Village backlands, even chopping away bushes for traces of the missing woman’s body.
On Thursday, July 17, 1997, fishermen at Ruimzeight spotted a bulky blue canvas bag that had washed up on the foreshore.
Inside, the fishermen found a woman’s decomposed remains. Her throat had been slit. The corpse had then been bound and wrapped in plastic and placed in a jute bag before being forced into the canvas bag. A pair of black denim shorts and a flowered blouse that were with the remains helped relatives to identify the victim as Radica Mohan.
In hindsight, friends were saying that Radica’s end was not altogether unexpected. Close friends alleged that she was often physically abused by an individual with whom she shared a relationship. According to some relatives, she had even expressed fear for her safety. Radica would sometimes say to them, “If anything happen to me is because ——kill me.”
Detectives suspected that Radica had been murdered in her home and dumped several miles away. In fact, it was suspected that she was slain in her bed, since a mattress that the couple had bought four months before the murder was reportedly missing.
A new mattress was reportedly transported to the house by minibus the day after Radica’s disappearance.
During a thorough search of the house, police reportedly found miniscule traces of blood on a cricket bat in Radica’s home. There were reportedly also bloodstains and hair on a wall in the hallway.
Detectives took the cricket bat, bloodstained curtain, a mattress, a mop, and Radica’s passport away as evidence.
Even before the gruesome find, there were reports that a suspect was seen carrying a large and bulky canvas sack on his bicycle.
Investigators considered Radica’s husband to be a prime suspect and detained him for several days. But despite what appeared to be a bundle of circumstantial evidence and other clues, police reached a dead end in their investigations and eventually released their suspect.
Back then, the laws did not permit DNA evidence to be presented in court. Such evidence is being allowed now, but it is doubtful that investigators can put their hands on those clues that their colleagues had so painstakingly gathered 21 years ago.
(If you have any information about this or any other unusual case, please contact Kaieteur News by letter or telephone at our Lot 24 Saffon Street, Charlestown location. Our numbers are 592-225-8465, 592-225-8452 and 592-225-8458. You need not disclose your identity.
You can also contact Michael Jordan at his email address [email protected])
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