Deaths at Marriott: Results expected within a week’s time – Home Affairs Minister

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The results of the substance found in the car where two friends were discovered dead are expected within a week’s time, Home Affairs Minister Robeson Benn told reporters on Friday.

Authorities here suspect the substance to be sodium cyanide, which is lethal, but because the Guyana Forensic Laboratory does not have the capacity to test for this substance, it was sent overseas; the police have not said which country it was sent to and Benn also did not want to reveal the location when probed by the press.

The motionless bodies of 25-year-old Paishnarine ‘Richie’ Hansraj and 34-year-old Justin Teixeira were found in the wee hours of April 23 inside Teixeira’s car at the parking lot of the Marriott Hotel in Kingston, Georgetown.

Both men were found inside the front seat by an employee of the hotel while a “white hard substance” was also found in the back seat of the car.

Autopsies conducted on Monday last by government pathologist Dr. Nehaul Singh were inconclusive and the “white hard substance” has since tested negative for narcotics.

“I had a meeting with one side of the affected party’s family and I said that we expect to get a position within a week’s time,” Benn said when asked about the results of the test.

He added: “The reagents and the other issues in relation to doing that specific test [cyanide] were not resident at the forensic laboratory; it was not among the range of tests they would have been doing.

“There were efforts which were being made to bring in some rapid tests kits, I think we may get one tonight or early in the morning for the forensic laboratory.”

The Home Affairs Minister further noted that the government is also checking with private laboratories to see whether they have the capacity to conduct such testing.

Meanwhile, the samples removed from the stomachs of the young men are yet to be sent for overseas analysis and testing, Benn said.

The men are yet to be buried.

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