Sep 07, 2020 News
– Cotton Tree rice farmer arrested as villages erupt in protest
By Malisa Harry
Two teenage boys who left their homes at Number 3 Village, West Coast Berbice on Saturday and never returned were yesterday found dead with their throats slashed and other chop marks about their bodies and face. One 57-year-old was arrested late last night as villages in West Berbice erupted in protest over the brutal murders.
The boys have since been identified as Isaiah Henry, 16 and Joel Henry, 19. They are said to be cousins who reportedly left home on Saturday to pick coconuts in the Cotton Tree backdam, West Coast Berbice.
Sources have since revealed that after the boys left home and when the entire Saturday and Saturday night had expired without them returning home, relatives filed a missing persons’ report and a search was launched by villagers of Number 3. It was disclosed that during the search yesterday morning, the bags that the boys left home with were found in a clump of bushes in the backdam, but there was no sign of the teenagers.
It was late yesterday afternoon that the bodies of the boys were found with their throats slashed in the Cotton Tree backdam.
The t-shirt of one of the boys was pulled over his face, while the other was lying face down. Their bodies appeared to have visible marks of violence and chop wounds about their bodies and face. The police were immediately summoned to the scene and an investigation was launched.
Father of Isaiah Henry, Gladston Henry spoke to reporters:
“When I go to work and come back my wife told me that my son did not come back home…Then we went to the backdam and we searched for him but was already night (Saturday night) because Friday night, he told me that he was going to the backdam because we have place in the backdam but we ain’t know that he gon go to other people place because I know he was going and pick coconut because he left with a crow bar.” He stated that after searching for hours and turning up empty-handed, they decided to search again yesterday morning.
“We had support from family and friends,” the man said, “and we search Cotton Tree backdam and we found coconut that was peeled the day before was on ‘Sano’ land and then I saw the bag with the coconut and the iron bar he left with. I decided to search further and we didn’t find them. Then when the police come, I show them the bar and the coconut and we leave and come home and search back Saturday afternoon, when we go, we find blood on several parts of the dam like dem move the body and then we search more and we found my son.”
Henry said when he saw his son, his throat was slashed and he had chop wounds across his face and head. Isaiah was a student of the Number 11 Secondary School.
“They butcher my son like a dog for two coconut. They chop his face up, one X on my son’s face. We found the cousin, he was in a hole with his head down in it and a haversack nearby,” he lamented.
Meanwhile, when reporters attempted to speak with the relatives of Joel Henry, they were all chased and had racial remarks hurled at them. Villagers and relatives who were angry over the death of the boys shouted that they “will now do what they have to do”.
Kaieteur News late last night was informed that villagers of Number 4 Village had taken to the streets and were protesting for justice for the boys.
Persons were seen in videos running along the Number 4 public road while others were on a canter truck banging objects and shouting. At Number 5 village, last night, protestors had taken to burning objects on the main road.
Late last night, the Guyana Police Force sent out a brief release saying that a 57-year-old resident of Cotton Tree was arrested in relation to the crime; the police did not release any additional details but Kaieteur News understands that the person in custody is a rice farmer from the community who might be connected to the land, which the boys were supposedly taking coconuts from.
While detectives saw no traces of blood or a possible murder weapon in the area where the teens’ bodies were found, however, on the farm owned by the suspect, bloodstains were seen on the ground along with a coconut peeler and peeled coconuts.
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