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Murder of West Berbice youths: Police to dispatch samples to forensic lab for testing; no political motive for killings- Crime Chief

The Guyana Forensic Science Laboratory located at Turkeyen, East Coast Demerara.

With seven persons now in custody concerning the killing of two youths at a coconut estate at the back of Cotton Tree Village, West Coast Berbice, police Tuesday afternoon said they were preparing to dispatch crime scene samples to a laboratory for testing.

“We have recovered some evidence from the crime scene and we are in the process of packaging them and we will be submitting those evidence to the Guyana Forensic Laboratory at the earliest opportunity,” Head of the Criminal Investigations Department, Senior Superintendent Wendell Blanhum said at a joint press conference hosted by Police Commissioner Nigel Hoppie and Chief-of-Staff of the Guyana Defence Force (GDF), Brigadier Godfrey Bess.

Mr. Blanhum assured that a thorough and “comprehensive” investigation was underway to bring the perpetrators to justice. He ruled out the killing of the youths was politically motivated, contrary to suggestions from pro-Afro-Guyanese stakeholders. “There is no absolutely no evidence whatsoever to support that contention,” he said. However, he declined to say what was the motive behind the hacking to death of Joel Henry and Isaiah Henry. “At this point in time, we would not disclose anything pertaining to motive to the public. We have a very tense situation and I will want to appeal to members of the public to allow the investigators to conduct the investigation,” he said.

Crime Chief Wendell Blanhum

The Henrys, who were cousins, left their homes early last Saturday morning to pick coconuts to sell but a search was launched after they did not return home. A search party and police Sunday afternoon located their bodies aback Cotton Tree with chop and stab wounds.

The Crime Chief said the seven persons include persons from Number 5 Village, West Coast Berbice. The others are the owner of the coconut estate where the bodies were found, his son and a handyman.

Meanwhile, Mr. Blanhum told a joint press conference by police and army chiefs that police were searching for two masked men who robbed one of three persons at gunpoint. “That matter we are treating with priority and we will make sure we that we make earnest efforts to arrest those individuals,” he said.

The Guyana Police Force confirmed that several persons were robbed and vehicles burned, but the Joint Services would not tolerate this for much longer. “The Joint Services will take all legal action necessary to ensure that law and order remain in this beloved country.. so we call on the people of Guyana to engage in peaceful protest action, Brigadier Bess said.