Victims speak out following rape, murder of Berbice boy
By Royan Abrams
As a result of the brutal rape and murder of 12-year-old Leonard Archibald in Sisters Village, East Bank Berbice, several others boys and men have come forward with their story of being molested and assaulted by one of the suspects who confessed to the crime.
Young Archibald went missing on September 17 after he left home to pick up two of his sisters from a birthday party in a nearby village. However, he never returned home and was last spotted riding a bicycle on the Sisters Village Public Road.
Two young men from the area, one of whom is known for molesting young boys, were arrested and on Friday, they confessed to the brutal crime. As such, police found the young man’s bicycle in the Berbice river behind the house of the two accused. Archibald’s badly decomposed body was found on Sunday, September 23 at Korthberaadt River which is located about three miles from Brothers Village, East Bank Berbice.
The main accused has been identified as Hillary Edwards, who reportedly told detectives that he dumped the body in the river after Archibald became unconscious during the rape.
OTHERS SPEAK OUT
But it took the death of Archibald for others in the area to speak out against the brutal nature of the main accused. Several young boys, who reside in Sisters and Brothers Villages have since shared with the News Room stories of how they were attacked by him.
They alleged that he would pounce when they’re alone or out fishing. A 19-year-old, who prefers to remain anonymous, told the News Room that he was confronted by the suspect while in the backdam fishing. He related that the suspect managed to pull down his pants during a scuffle and began to undress, but another person approached so he [the suspect] escaped.
The teen told reporters that the incident took place two months ago but that he is afraid of being stigmatised.
Meanwhile, several houses away, a 16-year-old boy recalled being asked by the suspect to help him load spray cans onto a boat, when he too was attacked. He added that as he was about to load one of the cans, the suspect approached him with a knife, forced him onto the boat and took away his cell phone. He alleged that the suspect let the boat loose and he was forced to jump overboard and swam to safety.
This matter was reported to the Sisters Police Station but by then the suspect had gone into hiding. However, he returned home several weeks after but the police failed to arrest him.
A father of two, who is now 23-years-old, told the News Room about his experience with the suspect when he was just 12-years-old. He disclosed that he was returning home from the backdam when the suspect attacked him; he was dragged and beaten and left tied to a tree with a broken jaw.
The father of two related that luckily the branch he was tied to broke and he fell to the ground but could not move because he was badly injured. He recalled being left in the backdam for three days in severe pain and without food.
He eventually managed to find his way home and his parents, who were alcoholics, took him to the hospital where he was admitted for several days. He said the suspect’s family compensated his parents and the matter was never reported. He told reporters that he wants justice for Leonard Archibald.