Probe into death of boat captain remains open as family suspects foul play


The investigation into the death of 28-year-old Saigon Hopkinson, who was found dead inside a fuel tank on June 6, is ongoing and once completed, the file will be sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) for legal advice.

This was revealed by Regional Commander for Division 2, Shivpersaud Bacchus who spoke with the News Room on Wednesday. Bacchus related that the police are also investigating claims of foul play made by the dead man’s relatives.

“They would have given further information and the police are investigating that as well,” the Commander related.

Hopkinson’s mother, Sharmin Defreitas told the News Room during a recent interview that she believes her son was murdered even though the post mortem results stated that he died as a result of chemical inhalation.

Hopkinson of Bartica, Region Seven, was employed as a boat captain to transport fuel from Bartica to the Essequibo Coast in Region Two. He was discovered inside the fuel tank of the vessel he operated at the David Shurland Wharf at Adventure along the Essequibo Coast.

His mother strongly believes that it was not possible for him to fall inside the fuel tank; she claimed that his body bore several marks of violence and his neck appeared to have been broken and discoloured. But none of this was reported in the post-mortem results seen by the News Room and the police has since noted that the man’s body had no marks of violence.

A post mortem revealed that Saigon Hopkinson died as a result of chemical inhalation

The two other employees who worked on the vessel with Hopkinson were questioned by the police and later released from custody.

“Why would the pathologist give the cause of death as [chemical inhalation] if the person died before? How can he or she inhale something and if you are being thrown into a tank, therefore, there has to have some form of marks of violence. During rigor mortis, those things would also develop and during the post mortem, the pathologist would observe all of those things,” Commander Bacchus said in response to the mother’s claims.

He added: “While the relatives want to claim that the man is murdered, his neck is broken, based on the information received, the police went there, discovered the body and the pathologist give his report and the police are still investigating.”

Meanwhile, the mother is calling for a thorough probe into her son’s death.

“I need justice for my son, I am not a pathologist but anybody with common sense can see that something went down that was not right, somebody murdered my son,” Defreitas said.

When asked why someone would want to hurt her son, Defreitas said she has no idea.

“The fuel tank [opening] is the size of a five-gallon bucket circumference and my son’s body can’t fit in, they had to force him in there,” the grieving woman said.

“I want the Commissioner of Police to pick up this matter and let the relevant authorities do their job, this is not right.

“I cannot get him back but I need justice. It is far too long that wicked things like this happening and nobody is doing anything about it,” she added.




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