By Michael Jordan
The seawalls that protect Guyana’s coastlands from the Atlantic hold decades upon decades of secrets…secrets of hidden love affairs…of rites to unseen forces…and of murder.
And if these walls could somehow talk, they would perhaps spill the secret of who took Jankie Mahadeo there seven years ago.
On the morning of Friday, August 19, 2005, members of a police patrol stumbled upon the body of a middle-aged woman in the vicinity of the Everest Cricket Club. She was fully clothed and police could discern no marks of violence. However, they did notice that there was froth at the victim’s mouth and this led them to suspect that she had been poisoned.
Two days passed before a family from Pouderoyen, West Bank Demerara, came forward to identify the victim.
She was Jankie Mahadeo, called ‘Anita’, a mother of three who had migrated to Trinidad some 25 years ago. According to the relatives, Mahadeo, accompanied by her five-year-old daughter, had arrived in Guyana about a week prior to her death. She had stayed at the relatives’ Pouderoyen home. She had informed the relatives that she intended to renew her passport and visit her mother, who was ill.
According to a female relative, at around 08:00 hrs on that fateful Friday of August 19, the cousin’s husband took Mahadeo to the Immigration Office to have her passport renewed. He then left her there. On instructions from her husband, the cousin said that she went to the Immigration Office to check on Mahadeo. The woman, who had a stall in Water Street, said that she checked on Mahadeo and then left the Immigration Office.
At around noon, Jankie Mahadeo arrived at her cousin’s stall where she had lunch. According to the cousin’s story, her husband eventually arrived and took Mahadeo to have two pictures taken for her passport. Mahadeo reportedly then caught a route 45 minibus with the intention of returning to the Immigration Office.
That was the last time that the relatives would see her alive.
The relatives recalled that Jankie Mahadeo had left home with $20,000 in local currency and US$100. She was also wearing a quantity of jewellery, including a diamond ring. The cash and jewellery were missing when Mahadeo’s corpse was found. The family members began to worry when several hours passed and the woman failed to return their home.
One relative remembered that Mahadeo had promised to visit a North Road, Bourda family who had taken care of her when she was a child. On checking at the home they were told by a male occupant that the woman had indeed visited, but that she had left shortly after making a call to a brother who lived in the United States. The man said that Mahadeo had indicated that she was going to look after her passport. The same man confirmed to Kaieteur News that Mahadeo had visited him that day.
According to him, the woman was in a jovial mood and “was hugging everybody.” He recalled that Mahadeo asked to make a phone call to her brother in the US and he allowed her to make the call. He also recalled that Mahadeo was repeatedly checking the time and that she said that she had to go and see her mother. She also said that a taxi was waiting for her and eventually left after promising to return another day. The man said that he did not follow Mahadeo outside and so had no description of the car or of the driver who picked her up.
But the plot thickened a few days later when Mahadeo’s eldest daughter arrived in Guyana and alleged that she had come to see ‘Ma’, a Guyanese woman with whom Mahadeo had grown up. The woman was the mother of the same man whose home Mahadeo had visited. According to the daughter, her mother had stated that ‘Ma’ had a ‘Will’ for her.
She said that some of her relatives were suspicious of the man’s account of Mahadeo’s visit to his home. Five days after Mahadeo’s body was found, a pathologist examined the corpse and determined that she had been manually strangled.
Detectives promptly arrested the man who Mahadeo had visited on the day she went missing. They suspected that Mahadeo might have been caught in the middle of a family dispute over a will and that this dispute might have led to her being slain.
Checking further, detectives discovered that the old woman who had taken care of Mahadeo as a child had died several years prior to Mahadeo’s visit.
The old woman had reportedly indeed left a will. The man who police had detained and his brother reportedly both had copies of the Will. However, Jankie Mahadeo’s name was not included on any of the documents.
On Friday, August 27, 2005, detectives released the businessman after determining that he was not involved in Mahadeo’s murder.
And according to some detectives, it appeared that the taxi driver who picked up Mahadeo from the North Road home might have vital information about her death. Police said that they had information that Mahadeo had a relationship with a taxi driver. The official said that detectives attempted to locate the taxi driver. They failed to find him.
Like I said, if the seawalls could talk, they would perhaps lead police to the man who strangled and dumped Mahadeo’s body there several years ago.
In other words, it may take a small miracle to solve this crime.
If you have any further information on this case or any other, please contact us at our Lot 24 Saffon Street, Charlestown office or by telephone.
We can be reached on telephone numbers 592-225-8458, 592-225-8465, 592-225-8482 or 592-225-8491. You need not disclose your identity.
You can also contact Michael Jordan at his email address: [email protected]
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