Jan 15, 2021 News
By Shikema Dey
Kaieteur News – Investigators secured a major breakthrough in their pursuit to find the perpetrators behind the gruesome murders of West Berbice teens Isaiah and Joel Henry as the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) recommended charges instituted on the three suspects in custody.
That move was reportedly taken after one of the men in custody confessed to the heinous crime which sparked outrage and protests in Guyana.
Sources have confirmed with Kaieteur News that the men in custody are two-time prison escapee 34-year-old Vinod Gopaul called “Magga”, a 33-year-old known as “Dan Pole” and a 19-year-old called “Monkey”.
From previous reports, Gopaul was first taken into prison 14, back in 2004 when he was accused of murdering his father who he reportedly shot dead.
In August 2007, he was among 18 prisoners who escaped from the New Amsterdam Prison. He was recaptured not long after in East Bank Berbice however, he managed to escape again in June 2011 but was recaptured. He was released at some point after then.
The DPP advised that Gopaul and “Dan Pole” be charged jointly for the murder while separate charges would be instituted on “Monkey”.
Sources from the Major Crime Unit (MCU) revealed too that police are hunting for several other suspects in connection with the crime.
The murder of the Henry cousins sent shockwaves through the country after their mutilated bodies were discovered on September 6 in clumps of bushes near to a coconut estate located at Cotton Tree backdam, West Coast Berbice.
Law enforcement officers, for months on end chased multiple leads and battled violent protests that erupted over the news of their gruesome murder in efforts to bring their killers to justice. Months later, the Henry family may receive this after a harrowing confession by one of the suspects who told a story of how the two young men met their cruel demise.
Sources relayed to Kaieteur News that the suspects ventured to the West Berbice area with the intention of setting up a farm to plant cannabis in August. The men were said to have established a camp in the backlands along with their cannabis plot and left the plants to flourish returning, some weeks later in September.
Upon their return, the men reportedly discovered that their camp and farm were destroyed. They were then said to have ventured to another camp nearby to inquire who destroyed their farm. The suspects, sources disclosed, were informed that two young men from the Cotton Tree area are known to trample the backlands and destroy farms. According to the source, the men fumed and vowed to ‘chop up’ whoever was responsible.
Days later, the Henry cousins were said to have ventured to that very camp where they met the three men. While conversing with two of the suspects, the cousins were asked whether they knew anything about cannabis farms being destroyed in the area.
Sources said that one of the Henry boys laughed and that action angered one of the suspects who swiftly took out a cutlass and dealt a chop to his neck. The other suspect allegedly took out his cutlass and repeated the action.
The third suspect, who was standing some feet away, was allegedly coerced into chopping the cousins after the two other suspects threatened to do the same to him. In turn, he was said to have dealt gaping X’s on the Henry cousins’ heads.
The bodies were then reportedly transported to another section of the backlands where they were dumped – they were later discovered by frantic family members out searching for the young men who were missing since September 5, 2020.
The t-shirt of one of the boys was pulled over his face, while the other was lying face down. Their bodies had visible marks of violence and chop wounds about their bodies and face.
Yesterday’s confession however, was reportedly, not the first. Kaieteur News was informed that the suspect told his relatives while passing through the village, “Duh is where I kill two boys.”
The murders sparked off the anger of the West Coast Berbice residents, who engaged in violent, racially targetted protests, even as several men were taken into custody for questioning in relation to the murders. As the unrest flared, Haresh Singh, a grandson of one of the men originally taken into custody, was found, lying in a patch of grass and bleeding from the nose in the Number Three Village backdam. Singh was later pronounced dead at a hospital.
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