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Saying that he was sickened and horrified by the gruesome killing of the two young boys – Joel Henry and Isaiah Henry whose bodies were found on Sunday in the village of Cotton Tree, West Coast Berbice, Opposition Leader, Joseph Harmon has called for a thorough investigation into the heinous crime.
“Today marks another horrific and tragic day in our beloved country with two boys senselessly cut down in the prime of their youth. I, on my own behalf, and on behalf of the APNU+AFC Coalition and all Guyanese, extend deepest condolences to their parents, siblings and relatives who have been thrown into a state of shock and mourning.” Harmon said the APNU+AFC Coalition calls for an immediate, full and thorough police investigation into this heinous crime and the apprehension of the killers without any delay. “We commit to doing everything necessary to ensure that justice is served in this matter to the fullest extent of the law. We recognise and understand the pain, anger and anguish the relatives and villagers of No. 3 Village (where the boys are from) are experiencing at this time. I call on them to remain vigilant but to allow the police to conduct their investigation in a timely manner,” the statement added.
Harmon said she will endeavour to visit with the relatives to extend condolences and offer support in person during the course of the day on Monday. “Finally, in my capacity as Leader of the Opposition, on Thursday last, I formally wrote to the Commissioner of Police (ag) Nigel Hoppie seeking a meeting at his earliest convenience on or before Monday, September 7th. I was most disappointed with the Commissioner’s response, that he is busy and is not available to meet until Friday, September 11th. This is most regrettable and unfortunate and moreso in light of this heinous crime,” Harmon concluded.
Residents living along the West Coast Berbice have erupted in protest over the slaughter of the two teenagers. The murder of the duo has already added fuel to an already tense situation in the area which only recently was embroiled in protest actions over the detention of Clairmont Mingo. “This is murder, this is cruel. This is people looking for trouble,” one villager standing next to the fiery protest told the Village Voice. Police stood nearby monitoring the situation.
One man who was part of the search party for the young men, said he observed their bodies were badly mutilated. The boys were in the village to pick coconuts when their attackers killed them. It is unclear what triggered the brutality. Police up to the time of this article have not issued a statement on the killing. However, they said ranks acting upon information received have since arrested a 57-year-old man of Cotton Tree, West Coast Berbice. He is presently in custody.
Residents found the badly mutilated bodies about three hundred feet apart. A reliable source said that they found bags used by the youths with coconuts and then picked up a trail of blood and followed it. “They were apparently beaten mercilessly before their throats were cut almost severing their heads,” one searcher said. The bodies were brought out late Sunday evening and stored at Bailey’s Funeral Parlor at # 3 Village pending post mortem. Meanwhile scores of angry residents thronged the roadway demanding justice for the two youths. They set up a road block on the bridge between # 4 and # 5 villages and thronged media persons who took videos and pictures and instructed them to delete same.
Reports reaching Village Voice are that the teenagers went to the backdam of Cotton Tree to pick coconuts on Saturday. However, they did not return home and a massive search was immediately launched. Villagers searched all night Saturday, but did not find any trace of the youths. They returned on Sunday and in the afternoon found the bodies of the boys with their throats slashed amidst bushes. Attorney-at-law Darren Wade has called for a thorough investigation into the murder of the youths. He said the same energy and zest the police used to go after Mingo and other GECOM officials they must do same in this issue. “This is highly disturbing, the villagers are hurt,” Wade said.