“It is very clear that an unprofessional course of action took place at the time when investigation was unfolding,” were words of acting Police Commissioner David Ramnarine when quizzed about the Monica Reece cold case.
The Monica Reece case was one of three that was reopened – the other two are the shooting to death of Trevor Rose and the brutal murder of Sheema Mangar.
However, Ramnarine noted that it was a review of the investigation that revealed some skullduggery had taken place in the year and period when the matter was under investigations.
While he could not provide additional information, he added that the investigation is still under review.
The body of the 23-year-old woman, a security guard, was dumped from a speeding pickup in the vicinity of the Geddes Grant building (now Courts) on Main Street, Georgetown, on April 9, 1993. It was a Good Friday night that the murder took place.
At the time of the murder, now Minister of Citizenship Winston Felix was Crime Chief. He subsequently retired as Commissioner of Police. At that time, there was a prime suspect but he mysteriously vanished.
His house was reportedly staked out by the media but from then to now, there is no trace of him.
The death of the Loss Prevention Security Guard rocked the nation due to the fact of the manner in which she was killed and dumped.
After the dumping the body, an eyewitness, a prominent race car driver gave chase but somehow the vehicle disappeared.
In addition, a resident of Tiger Bay had told investigators that she saw the body of the young lady being disposed of from a dark-coloured 4×4 vehicle. She later gave the Police three digits “932” but one of the digits was missing.
Four days after the murder, acting on information provided by the woman, investigators detained a man with prominent family ties and more so, dark colored vehicle belonging to the suspect’s father. The registration for the vehicle bore the digits, 9123 which was close to the digits provided to the Police.
The young man had denied and claimed that his girlfriend was his alibi since he was with her at the time the body was dumped. The investigating ranks however took several strands of hair that was found in the young man’s vehicle and handed them over to the pathologist.
As the investigations continued, another vehicle that matched the description of the one involved in the murder was detained – this one was owned by a son of a prominent government minister. Yet another vehicle was later detained and impounded. That vehicle was also owned by a businessman.
The three suspects had all denied knowing Reece and claimed that they only knew of the murder when they saw a crowd on Main Street on the night of April 9, 1993.
Investigators had detained 27 pick-ups and questioned 200 persons but mysteriously met a dead end.
The Police had even offered $100,000 as a reward for anyone with information that may lead to a breakthrough in the murder case but again, that proved futile.
To date, after 24 years, the murderer is still unknown but relatives of the dead woman are optimistic that by reopening the case, the murderer will be unveiled. (Bhisham Mohamed)