Deputy Police Commissioner, Seelall Persaud said there was no signed of forced entry into Sirmattie Ramnaress’ home at 2430, 21st Diamond Housing Scheme, East Bank Demerara.
“The scene was staged to make it appear as a robbery then they tried to eliminate the evidence by attempting to burn the place down,” said Persaud who is the Chief of Criminal Investigations (CID).
Police said the woman’s body was found with injuries to the head and left hip. The house was ransacked and drenched with a flammable liquid and a storage bond at the rear of the building was destroyed by fire.
He explained that investigators uncovered evidence to make it appear as though there was forced entry through a door but the marks showed that the damage was done inside rather than outside.
Both the Guyana Police Force and the Customs Anti Narcotics Unit (CANU) say they do not have any information to suggest that the woman, who lived in a heavily fortified and monitored house, had been involved in illegal activities. “We don’t have anything bad about her. We normally do background checks on people,” said Persaud.
Police believed that the perpetrators were known to Ramnaress, who started her business by trading in bags from the Caribbean, because they were allowed entry and subsequently entered one of her bedrooms. A neighbour has told crime sleuths that two men and two women were seen leaving in her car that was later found abandoned at Liliendaal, East Coast Demerara.
Among the items stolen was the recorder that captured video surveillance footage of the premises moments before and during the incident that occurred some time late Friday night or early Saturday morning.
One line of enquiry being pursued by investigators, according to the Crime Chief, was whether anyone had owed the businesswoman.
While no one has been arrested, investigators have questioned several persons including the dead woman’s common-law husband of 21 years, Colin Bailey. The Crime Chief said that while investigators were inclined to accept the man’s account, the probe was still very much open. “We have several lines of enquiry and no one has been eliminated,” he said.
Bailey, a police sergeant based at Vigilance Police Station, has bluntly rejected assertions that he played a role in his wife’s demise. “I am cooperating fully with the police. I cannot at any time contemplate killing my wife. I don’t know why anyone will want to accuse me. I just believe they are trying to get at me,” Bailey told reporters.
Bailey recalled being informed of Ramnaress’ death Saturday morning while he had been at the Cheddi Jagan International Airport (CJIA) on escort duty for Venezuela’s President, Nicolas Maduro. The policeman said he had last seen her Friday when she had taken cooked food for him.
Back in June 2011, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had refused Ramnaress’ importation of a quantity of fish eggs into Florida, citing inaccurate and incomplete labelling.