WCB teens’ murders
…families continue to call for justice
More than two months after the gruesome murders of three teenagers in West Berbice, the Guyana Police Force is now offering $3 million to anyone who has information that could lead to the arrest and prosecution of the killers.
On September 6, the badly mutilated bodies of Isaiah and Joel Henry were found in the backlands at West Coast Berbice (WCB) after they left their Number Three Village home to pick coconuts but did not return. Then on September 9, 2020, 17-year-old Haresh Singh was found murdered at the Number Three Village backlands in what was dubbed as a retaliatory killing.
The Police have since been actively investigating and exploring the possibilities, but it seems as though they are getting nowhere. In what is now being touted as a last straw initiative, the Police are offering a $3 million reward for information leading to the arrest of the perpetrators.
Any person or persons with information that could lead to the perpetrator(s) being convicted is/are invited to please contact the GPF on the following telephone numbers: 225-6411, 226-6978, 225-8196, 226-1326, 225-2227, 225-3650, 225-7625, 227-1149, 232-0291, 232-0213, 330-2222, 911, or the nearest Police Station.
Calls for justice
Meanwhile, attorney for the families of Joel and Isaiah Henry, Nigel Hughes, held a press conference on Tuesday, where the call for justice was reiterated and he made certain revelations about the case. In relation to the Police announcement of a reward, Hughes said it is indicative of their failure to garner enough evidence to successfully solve the murders.
Hughes said that at the time when the boys left their home, Joel Henry was wearing a pair of short denim trousers, but when his body was discovered he was clad in a different pair of pants.
The attorney noted that the family informed the Police of this, but the trousers did not form part of the list of evidence sent to Saint Lucia for DNA analysis and testing.
Hughes said he had spoken to the investigators in relation to the trousers, and while they did not explicitly confirm that the pants were not subjected to DNA analysis, based on his history of interactions with the Police, he concluded that the pants were not so subjected.
A senior officer attached to the investigations subsequently told this publication that the pants were not a part of the list of samples sent to Saint Lucia for analysis.
Argentine Forensic Team
Hughes and the Guyana Human Rights Association (GHRA) have since reached out to the Argentine Team of Forensic Anthropology (Equipo Argentino de Antropologia Forensica-EAAF) – the world’s foremost agency in forensic anthropology – to assist with the investigation. The Team has offered to send to Guyana a team that includes a forensic pathologist, a forensic anthropologist and a forensic radiologist.
Hughes has further explained that his Law Firm and the GHRA wrote to Minister of Home Affairs, Robeson Benn, to see whether the Government would facilitate the team in Guyana, but they are yet to receive a response.
Additionally, Gladston Henry – father of Isaiah – said that President Dr Irfaan Ali has indicted to them that Caricom has reached out to the Argentine team, but did not commit to facilitating them.
The Caricom Regional Security Service (RSS) team recently departed Guyana after they came to assist the Police with the investigation. The team made recommendations for more investigation, but overall expressed their confidence in the ability of the Guyana Police Force to solve the case.
The five-member team was led by an Assistant Commissioner of Police and comprised officials from countries within the Regional Investigative Management Systems (RIMS). It was in Guyana for one week and departed on October 6. The team has since completed its report and handed it over to the Guyana Police Force (GPF). The findings of the RSS investigation have not been released to the public.
The butchered bodies of the Henry teens were found in clumps of bushes and partially covered in mud after relatives went in search of them on August 6.
Post-mortem examinations conducted revealed that the teenagers died from haemorrhage and shock.
The murders sparked widespread protest action, particularly along the West Coast Berbice corridor, with persons blocking the roads and burning debris while calling for justice.
The situation escalated as protesters blocked traffic along the WCB roadway while robbing, beating and extorting innocent commuters. Millions of dollars were also lost as vehicles went up in flames.
As the unrest continued, 17-year-old Haresh Singh of Number Three Village, West Coast Berbice (WCB) was found dead hours after he had left home on his motorcycle to attend his family’s farm in the backdam.
The teen was found by relatives bleeding through his nose and had wounds to his head, ears, neck and hands. According to the family, there was also an “X” on his neck. They then rushed the 17-year-old to the New Amsterdam Hospital, but he succumbed on the way.
It has been suspected that Singh’s murder was in retaliation for the deaths of Isaiah and Joel Henry, since one of his close relatives was among those arrested after the cousins’ murder.
Meanwhile, Police have established that 16-year-old Isaiah and 19-year-old Joel Henry were murdered in one location, and their bodies were then transported to the coconut estate on which they were discovered.
Contacted on Tuesday for a comment on the RSS report, Crime Chief Wendell Blanhum said he did not have any comment. He, however, stated that Police are still pursuing various leads. (G2)