− estranged husband confesses to murdering, burying her in yard
Following the discovery of skeletal remains in his Seaforth Street, Campbellville yard on Sunday afternoon,
Anand Narine, the estranged husband of missing BK International employee Babita Sarjou, along with an accomplice, confessed to killing the woman and burying her body in the three- foot shallow grave.
Police Crime Chief Wendell Blanhum confirmed with Guyana Times, that although he was confident of the identity of the remains, Police would still carry out DNA testing to confirm that the skeletal remains was indeed hers. Samples will be sent shortly to neighbouring Trinidad and Tobago (T&T) for testing.
According to Blanhum, Police began questioning both Sarjou’s estranged husband and another man said to be his close friend, who were currently in custody. He said based on the information received from the two men, Police descended on the home, where a search was mounted with the help of neighbours and relatives.
It was during the search that investigators came upon what appeared to be a shallow grave. Digging further, they came upon two bones. A little later, Police found the most of the skeletal remains. Pieces of clothing were also found in the grave.
The Crime Chief said that both men would soon be charged, as they have both, during interrogation, admitted to playing a role in the woman’s death. He said the matter would no longer be treated as a “missing person” but homicide.
Blanhum said he was very pleased with this breakthrough, and thanked the investigators who have been working on it for the last six years.
Sarjou, 28, mother of a now 10-year-old son, who had lived at Timehri Public Road, East Bank Demerara, left her desk and computer unattended at work in November 2010 –never to return. Her family and the Police had since been seeking her.
Police made the dreadful discovery some two days after taking into custody the woman’s husband and another close friend of hers, after informing her mother, Champa Seonarine that they were reopening the case.
In early April, Seonarine, along with officials from the Caribbean American Domestic Violence Awareness (CADVA) organisation, had again petitioned for the case to be reopened. Seonarine said all she needed was some closure. “Whether Babita is dead or not, I need to find her,” her mom had told the media, fighting back tears.
“I need closure to this case, and I am calling on each and every one out there who knows something about Babita, that they have a heart and some feelings and come out and say something,” Seonarine, who now resides in the United States, pleaded.
She said her family believed that her daughter’s estranged husband had something to do with her disappearance.
Reports are that there were several instances of domestic violence and reports made to both Kitty and Timehri Police Stations.
Sarjou disappeared the night before Diwali in 2010.
“She said to me ‘mammi I’d be home at 9’o clock’ that night, but Babita never showed up,” the mother sobbed.
No one has any idea what occurred between Babita and her husband on the night of the Diwali motorcade. Seonarine said Anand has never spoken to them concerning that night. In 2010, the Police held him for questioning for 72 hours and then released him.
During the investigations, samples of an undergarment were sent to Trinidad and Tobago for DNA testing, but, according to Seonarine, no results ever came back.
Meanwhile, CADVA head Diane Madray said while Guyana did not have a law for missing persons, the organisation was hoping to have a bill passed in memory of Sarjou.
Madray said the law, which the organisation hopes to name the Babita Sarjou Missing Person’s Law, should be considered as there is a need to take Sarjou’s case and set precedence so that change could be made.
She added that Sarjou’s disappearance was marked as a case without a trace and the organisation has been working closely with her family to advocate for the reopening of an investigation with Director of Public Prosecutions, Shalimar Ali-Hack.