Manager found dead in ACME building after being locked in office
…family demands answers
By Lawanda McAllister
A 54-year-old woman, who was a manager at ACME General Stores, was on Wednesday morning found dead in her office into which she was accidentally locked.
Dead is Sandra Dee-Barker of Parfaite Harmonie, West Bank Demerara (WBD). She was last seen alive on Monday afternoon.
The woman’s family are very suspicious of the death and are demanding answers.
Dee-Barker was found in her office, located at Regent and King Streets, Georgetown on Wednesday at about 07:45h by a 25-year-old employee.
When Police arrived at the scene, the woman’s motionless body was seen lying on the floor in her office located on the third floor of the ACME building.
The body was examined by EMT technicians, and Dee-Barker was officially pronounced dead. Police have since said that the scene was processed and no marks of violence were seen, neither were there any signs of breakage or forced entry.
The woman’s brother, Lex Barker told Guyana Times that his sister lived alone, so no one realised that she was missing.
He said the last time their family heard from her was on Monday morning when she sent a “good morning” message in their family WhatsApp group.
“Some one of the staff went and check for her on Monday… the door was locked; it was grilled apparently. They knocked on the door and got no reply. They called her phone and they heard her phone ringing from inside of the office, but assumed that she was probably in the washroom…that was the last anyone saw or heard from her,” the brother said.
He added, “Nobody did not even know that she did not go home… she was there [at the office] all day on Tuesday.”
According to the brother, the employee related that they heard no screams or loud noises coming from his sister’s office. He further said the employees were unaware that she was left in the building.
The man said his sister never complained of having medical issues, and it was a shock that she was found in such a state.
“Nobody suspected anything, so we didn’t pay that any mind… it was quite a shock, because we weren’t expecting anything like this…”.
Lex Barker said from what he was told, his sister usually locked the grille to her office while she was inside; however, he said he could not understand how the employees knew that she was at work, called her phones repeatedly, heard her cellphone ringing in the office, and did not make any further inquiries.
He said he was trying to process how the cleaner got entry into his sister’s office and the other employees could not, to check on her.
“It is very strange to me that they were trying to get her, you are not getting her on her phone, you hear the phone ringing, and the door is locked from inside and no one checked. If the door was locked from the inside, she is inside; but everybody went away and locked up the place. That is the thing that is worrying me and I have to get more information on that,” the dead woman’s brother said.
Meanwhile, the woman’s only daughter, Renetta Barker, who lives in Barbados, said she last spoke to her mother on Monday, and she seemed “normal” and did not complain of feeling unwell.
“I didn’t contact her on Tuesday…I didn’t think anything was wrong…. sometimes she wud go a day or two without checking in. What I know is myself and her three grandchildren will never be able to overcome this loss,” the grieving woman said.
Dee-Barker’s body is presently at the Lyken Funeral home awaiting a post-mortem as investigations continue.