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September 15 ,2020

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-suspects released on station bail, two others being sought

Investigators probing the murders of teenaged cousins Isaiah and Joel Henry have determined that they were not killed at the site where the bodies were found, while the suspects who had been kept in custody for questioning about the crime have all been released but two others are being sought.

“…Preliminary findings showed that the bodies of the Henry boys were discovered at a secondary crime scene,” the Guyana Police Force’s spokesman, Assistant Commissioner Royston Andries Junor, said in a statement issued last evening.

The discovery, Andries-Junor said, means that the heinous murders were not committed where the bodies were found. “Person(s) moved the bodies after the murder and placed them at the locations where they were subsequently discovered,” he noted. “At this time, the investigators are actively in search of the primary crime scene which would greatly assist in the probe as the primary crime scene will have an abundance of evidence linking the perpetrators to the crime,” he added.

According to Andries-Junor, the determination was made after investigators were able to overcome some challenges and get to the crime scene, including the blocking of the roads amidst protests over the murders.

Andries-Junor further stated that forensic evidence was found at the secondary crime scene. “This forensic evidence was identified, collected preserved and submitted to the Guyana Forensic Laboratory for DNA analysis to be conducted,” he said.

He added that DNA samples were also collected from the suspects who were in custody and sent for a comparative analysis to be conducted against the forensic evidence collected from the secondary crime scene. 

The results are expected within the next three weeks.

Meanwhile, when contacted yesterday Director of the Guyana Forensic Science Laboratory (GFSL) Delon France said that the lab is currently in possession of a number of samples from various cases which have to be processed.

“We are trying to see how fast we can process them,” France said.

The standard turnaround time for samples to be processed upon receipt is 30 days. However, France said he has related to the police that the results from the Henrys’ case should be available in three weeks.

France noted that the GFSL is functioning as per normal and is not facing any issues which should lead to a setback.Initially, he said the GFSL had to source some testing kits which arrived in Guyana two Fridays ago.

The police last Sunday said that the bodies of the cousins were found about 600 feet from each other in clumps of bushes near to a coconut farm on the West Coast of Berbice.Isaiah, 16, a student at the Woodley Park Secondary School, and Joel, 18, who worked at the Blairmont Estate, went missing Saturday, September 5, after they left home for the Cotton Tree backlands to pick coconuts.

After they did not return home, relatives lodged missing persons’ reports with the police and subsequently launched a search. It was while searching that the bodies of the teens were discovered.

Autopsies performed on the bodies of the teenagers last Wednesday showed that they both died from haemorrhage and shock due to multiple wounds.

Suspects released

A number of persons, including the owner of a coconut estate, were initially detained for questioning about the murders. Four of them were subsequently released on station bail as police could no longer hold them without charge. Apart from them, a number of additional arrests were made during the last week.

The police in their statement yesterday confirmed that all of the suspects were placed on station bail. They are required to make “scheduled” visits to the Blairmont Police Station.

In addition, the police added that they are actively pursuing two suspects.

The Guyana Police Force assured the public that the investigation is ongoing and that investigators assigned to the probe are “committed” to discovering the truth surrounding the circumstances of the murders.

“The investigators are all actively following up every lead and information received from members of the public who have come forward to assist investigators”, the statement said.

It added that the challenges which ranks were previously faced with will not deter continued efforts to bring the perpetrators to justice.

Last Friday, President Irfaan Ali met with the families of the teens and assured them that no stone will be left unturned during the investigation of the crime.

The teenagers were laid to rest on Sunday.

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