Argentine forensic analyst to assess if he can help local investigators

WCB teens’ murder

One of Argentina’s forensic experts has arrived in Guyana, and will now have to determine if the Argentine Team of Forensic Anthropology (EAAF) would be able to lend assistance to the Guyana Police Force (GPF) to unravel the mystery surrounding the gruesome murders of the three West Coast Berbice teenagers.
The Henry cousins, Isaiah and Joel, and 17-year-old Haresh Singh were brutally killed just days apart, back in September, 2020. With investigators yet to have a substantive breakthrough in the case, the forensic anthropology expert has been brought in to assist with the probe. Director of the EAAF, Dr Luis Fondebrider, arrived on Saturday, and will be in Guyana until December 16.

EAAF Director
Dr Luis Fondebrider

In a statement, the Guyana Human Rights Association (GHRA), who is facilitating the anthropologist, said the purpose of his visit is to assess whether the EAAF may be able to support the efforts of the Police Force in their investigations.
Dr Fondebrider will be meeting the families, visiting the crime scene, meeting with investigators and Police personnel, and briefing appropriate Government and diplomatic representatives.
“As a result of the visit, the EAAF will determine whether, and to what degree, they may be able to support the Guyana Police Force in its investigations. If that conclusion is positive, the modalities of how it may be implemented will be addressed,” the GHRA said in the missive.
Additionally, during his time here, Dr Fondebrider would also hold a Zoom meeting with representatives of official and civic organisations that are engaged with the problem of violent deaths of women. The EAAF have developed protocols for the investigation of femicide – the violent deaths of women by men. The purpose of that session will be to explore the possibility of capacity-building in this area in the future.
Dr Fondebrider will also give a public presentation on the work of the EAAF. That presentation will take place in the Catholic Cathedral on the corner of Brickdam and Camp Street on Tuesday, December 15 from 17:30h to 19:00h. The Cathedral is an appropriate venue in terms of safely accommodating COVID-19 protocols, the Association has said.
The Guyana Government has since reached out to the Regional Security System (RSS), which subsequently sent a high-level five-member team here in October.
The RSS team, which was led by an Assistant Commissioner of Police and comprised officials from countries within the Regional Investigative Management Systems (RIMS), was in Guyana for one week and departed on October 6. That team has since handed over a report to the Guyana Police Force in which it recommended that the Police do additional work, while also stating that the local investigators are competent to investigate and bring the perpetrators to justice.
Sixteen-year-old Isaiah Henry and 19-year-old Joel Henry had left their Number Three Village, West Coast Berbice (WCB) home to pick coconuts, but two days later, on September 6, 2020, their butchered bodies were found in the backlands of Cotton Tree, WCB.
Then on September 9, 2020, 17-year-old Singh was found murdered at the Number Three Village backlands. It is suspected that his death was in retaliation for the murders of the Henry cousins, since he is related to one of the persons initially held by the police.
While several persons were arrested for the murder of the Henry teens and later released, to date no arrest has been made in relation to Singh’s murder.
Police had explained that the location where the bodies of the Henry boys were found was not the primary crime scene; that is, it is not the location where the young men were killed. Investigators are yet to locate the primary crime scene.
Meanwhile, the Police Force in November announced a $3 million reward for information that may lead to the arrest and prosecution of those responsible for the murders of the three teenagers. About a week later, Police received information which led to the arrests of five men – all from Rosignol, WCB.
Guyana Times was told that the men have all provided alibis which were verified by the investigators, and as such, they were subsequently released.
However, a source close to the investigation told this newspaper that no lead that may arrive at the detectives’ desks at this point in time would be ruled out.
“Once a lead is provided, we will pursue same until the end… All we want are those responsible for the teens’ deaths, so that their parents, family, villagers and the country as a whole could have closure.”
The source has, however, stated that the investigation is active and investigators are being very careful in collecting data and evidence which would not see the wrong person(s) being prosecuted for the heinous crime. (G8)