The body of 63-year-old Rita Fredricks of 12th Field, Barnwell North, Mocha, East Bank Demerara was recovered from a trench in the community on Thursday morning.
The woman had gone missing on Tuesday evening, and was not seen until Thursday morning, when her body was spotted floating in the canal.
According to information reaching the Guyana Times, Fredricks and her husband were imbibing with a friend some distance away from their home on Tuesday evening, when she left to go home sometime around 22:00h. However, when her husband arrived home later that night, she was nowhere to be found.
It is believed that, on the way home, the woman went to the nearby trench to wash her feet, during which she may have fallen into the water.
This newspaper spoke with a close friend of the dead woman, Hettie Turnhill, at whose 10th Field house the elderly couple was drinking on the night Fredricks went missing.
“She left around 10 o’clock (Tuesday night), and then I went to bed, leaving her husband and my sister. But the next morning her husband came back and asked if his wife by us, and I said, ‘No, we ain’t see aunty’. So he said he went home and didn’t see her anywhere,” the woman related.
She said neighbours carried out a search in the area but did not find the woman anywhere, so the husband went to file a missing persons report at the station.
Turnhill told this newspaper that on Thursday morning she was going to shower, sometime around 10:00h, and went to the trench to get water, then she made the discovery.
“My neighbour from the other side of the trench called out to me and we ended up talking. Whilst gaffing, I look in the trench and see her floating. Her head and ears were showing, so I screamed and called out for aunty’s daughter, who was nearby,” the woman recalled.
Turnhill said that upon spotting the body, she knew immediately that it was the elderly woman. This, she said, was confirmed when the woman’s body was retrieved from the water, as she still had on the clothing she was wearing on the night she went missing.
Meanwhile, Fredricks’ daughter Marcelle explain to the Guyana Times that she was away for a few days, and returned home on Thursday morning only to be greeted with the news of her mother’s disappearance.
“I come by my mother’s friend (Turnhill) to find out what really happen, and she said she ain’t know too. So I sit down and she went to go ready to go in town, and when she went by the trench, she see the head and call for me,” the daughter stated.
Marcelle added that the police were contacted and arrived on scene. The body was taken out of the water and was transported out of the area on an all-terrain vehicle (ATV), since vehicles could not traverse the area due to the deplorable condition of the road.
The body of 63-year-old Rita Fredricks is currently at the Lyken Funeral Home awaiting a post-mortem examination.