Three persons now held as intense Police probe continues into murder of Berbice teens
The Police have now arrested three persons as they conduct what the Police Commissioner Nigel Hoppie says is an “intense” investigation into the brutal murder of Berbice teen boys Joel and Isaiah Henry.
Those arrested include the 57-year-old owner of the farm where the boys’ mutilated bodies were found. The owner’s son and a handyman are the others who have been held. The Police said they are “assisting” with the investigations.
The Police have sent six detectives from Georgetown to the area and Crime Chief Wendell Blanhum is gathering others to join the probe.
Isaiah Henry’s mother told the News Room on Monday that she believed the boys were killed and their bodies placed in the coconut farm at Cotton Tree, just a few villages away from where they lived. However, the Police Commissioner said they could not make that determination at this time.
Speaking during a press conference, Minister of Home Affairs Robeson Benn described the murder of the boys as “vicious” and said there could be no excuse for what happened.
He said that the government shared the shock, hurt and horror of what happened.
He said that security forces were “surprised” at the “extremities” to which the boys were subjected to and wanted to reassure all Guyanese that no effort will be spared to bring the perpetrators of this heinous crime to justice.
Minister Benn said the Police Force has been required to do a professional investigation.
Police headquarters on Sunday night said they observed bloodstains at the nearby farm owned by the 57-year-old man and this led to his arrest. Also, a coconut peeler and some peeled coconuts were seen at the said location.
Joel, 18, was listed by the Police as a labourer of Lot 26 No Three Village, West Coast Berbice.
“Joel Henry’s body was found with the upper half in a hole. The body was clad in a black long pants, green long sleeve jersey with white fine strip and barefooted. The body bore a mark around his throat and bruises on the fingers of his right hand,” Police further stated.
Isaiah, 16, was a student and from the same village. They were cousins.
“Isaiah Henry’s body was seen lying on his back with his head pointing in an eastern direction and feet pointing west. The body was clad in gray short pants, light green long sleeve jersey and barefooted. A wound was seen on his throat, two to his left side head, one on his forehead and one to the left side chin,” Police stated.
Police said the boys left their homes about sunrise on Saturday. They headed to Cotton Tree Village, West Coast Berbice to pick coconuts to sell but had not returned up to 8 p.m.
Isaiah’s mother went to the Blairmont Police Station to report him as missing; Joel’s mother filed a missing person’s report on Sunday morning.
At about 9 a.m. Sunday, relatives and friends of the victims formed a search party and went into Cotton Tree Village backdam to find the two victims.
Just about six hours later, they found the bodies. They were about 600 feet from each other in clumps of bushes near a coconut farm.
The scene was processed by ranks of the Crime Scene Unit who observed no bloodstains nor weapon around the bodies or within the immediate vicinity.
The bodies were escorted to Fort Wellington Public Hospital and then to the Anthony Funeral Home Mortuary where they await Post-Mortem Examination.