– 7 in custody
Seven persons in total have now been arrested as investigators swiftly progress their probe into the brutal slayings of West Coast Berbice teens and cousins, Isaiah and Joel Henry.
The two new suspects were said to be coconut vendors.
Crime Chief, Senior Superintendent, Wendell Blanhum, during a virtual joint press briefing with the Police Commissioner, Nigel Hoppie, and Chief-of-Staff of the Guyana Defence Force (GDF), Brigadier Godfrey Bess, yesterday disclosed that evidence will soon be dispatched to the Forensic Lab for testing.
“We have recovered some evidence from the crime scene and we are in the process of packaging them and we will be submitting those evidence to the Guyana Forensic Laboratory at the earliest opportunity,” he told the press.
While it is integral to revisit the crime scene where the mutilated bodies of the teens were found, Blanhum noted that the continued protest action by furious West Coast Berbice residents are hampering that task.Nevertheless, he assured that a “comprehensive” investigation is being
conducted, adding that investigators from the Major Crimes Unit are on the ground working assiduously to bring the killers to justice.
Teams from the Guyana Defence Force (GDF) along with members of the Guyana Fire Service (GFS)
and the Tactical Services Unit (TSU) were dispatched to the area with the aim of quelling the unrest.
While public outrage mounted as the days go by, theories of why the teens were killed float around with the central being that the crime was politically motivated.
But the Crime Chief when asked whether this was a possible motive ruled it out.
“There is no absolutely no evidence whatsoever to support that contention…”
He declined to reveal what the other possible motives are.
“At this point in time, we would not disclose anything pertaining to motive to the public. We have a very tense situation and I will want to appeal to members of the public to allow the investigators to conduct the investigation,” Blanhum disclosed.
A murder weapon is yet to be recovered.
In addition, police are also on the hunt for three other suspects.
The Major Crimes Unit took over the case on Sunday last after the bodies of the boys were found butchered in the Cotton Tree backdam.
Police had stated that bloodstains found on the rice land located in close proximity to the land the teens’ bodies were found on, had led to the arrest of the rice farmer. It was during his time in police custody, that one of the farmer’s sons and his handyman were also picked up and taken in custody.
Members of the Major Crimes Unit arrived in Berbice earlier yesterday but were met by protesters who blocked the roads and refused to let them pass.
It wasn’t until former President, David Granger, arrived that the unit managed to pass.
It was late Sunday afternoon that the bodies of the boys were found, with their throats slashed, in the backdam. The t-shirt of one of the boys was pulled over his face, while the other was lying face down. Their bodies bore visible marks of violence including chop wounds across their heads and faces.
The post mortems are slated to be conducted on the teens’ bodies sometime today.
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