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Posted: Thursday 10 September, 2020 at 3:07 PM

Barbaric killing of two teens sparks protests, violence in Berbice

By: Stanford Conway,

    GEORGETOWN, Guyana – THE barbaric killing of two teenaged cousins has sparked a series of protests by outraged residents from a number of villages on the West Coast of Berbice (WCB), East Coast Demerara and at the Square of the Revolution in Georgetown, Guyana.


    Some angry protesters from a number of villages lit and continue to light fires and blocked the main thoroughfare along WCB, which led to a spate of violence, robberies, damage to prperties and even deaths.


    According to family members, the two cousins, Isiah Henry (16) and Joel Henry (19), had left their Number Three Village, WCB home at about 5:30 A.M. on Saturday (Sept. 5) to pick coconuts in the backlands of a neighbouring village called Cotton Tree.


    They had left with a bag and an iron bar, which is normally used to shell coconuts. However, they failed to return home later that day and a search party was organised to locate them


    At approximately 8:30 on the following morning, Isiah’s mother had lodged a missing person report at the Blairmont Police Station and the search continued for the two teens.


    The mutilated bodies of the two boys were discovered later that afternoon by the search party.


    Speaking to reporters while standing at the head of a dam that leads to the Cotton Tree backlands, Isiah’s father, Gladstone Henry, said while searching they first saw some peeled coconut and shells.


    “I say this is a clue and in the side it get the bag with the coconut. Why somebody going in the backdam and pick the coconut and left the bag if is they own”, the father questioned.


    The senior Henry said that that encouraged him to continue to search the said area but they did not find the teens. 


    “When police come in I tell the police I believe this is evidence that my son is here and I see the hole where the bar went in. So the police ask me how me certain and sure and I say yes I certain and sure,” Henry added.


    He also stated that the search party had noticed bicycle tracks on the dam leading to the coconut farm, and that the belongs to a resident of a nearby village.


    “People try to cover up them tracks, they tried to move the body from where they [were] to carry it to other person land to frame other people. But these boys were so strong they couldn’t manage to kill these boys where they want to kill them because blood show from the dam where the body came from”, Henry declared.


    Henry further stated that the search party had found his son’s cousin a short distance away from his son’s body, noting: “The cousin roll up and deh down in a hole with a haversack. We couldn’t a see his face cause he went in a hole.” 


    According to a police report, “About 15:30 hours on 2029/09/06 while conducting the search in the backdam of the said village (Cotton Tree, WCB) the bodies of Isaiah Henry and Joel Henry were found about 600 feet from each other in clumps of bushes near to a coconut farm.


    “Isaiah Henry’s body was seen lying on his back with his head pointing in an eastern direction and feet pointing west. The body was clad in gray short pants, light green long sleeve jersey and barefooted. A wound was seen on his throat, two to (the left side of his head), one on his forehead and one to the left side (of his) chin.


    “Joel Henry’s body was found with the upper half in a hole. The body was clad in a black long pants, green long sleeve jersey with white fine stripe and barefooted. The body bore a mark around his throat and bruises on the fingers of his right hand.”


    The police also said that the scene was processed by ranks of the Crime Scene Unit, who had observed that no blood stains or weapon around the bodies or within the immediate vicinity.


    They however stated that “further examination of a nearby coconut farm owned by the suspect now in custody showed what appeared to be blood stains on the ground. Also, a coconut peeler and some peeled coconuts were seen at the said location”.


    A number of individuals have so far been taken into custody to assist sleuths from the Major Crimes Unit and the Criminal Investigation Department with their investigation into the double murder.


    Those in custody are a 57-year-pld rice farmer, his son, a handyman, two other employees and two other men. 


    Police had stated that blood stains found on a rice land in proximity to the land on which the boys’ bodies were found, had led to the arrest of the rice farmer.


    Pathologist Nehaul Singh, yesterday morning (Sept. 9), conducted autopsies on the bodies of the two cousins and concluded that they died as a result of hemorrhage and shock due to multiple incised wounds. 


    Joel Henry had received 18 wounds to the body, including many defensive wounds along with seven to eight chops to the head; he also bit his tongue. His cousin Isaiah also had several chops to the head.


    The pathologist also noted that both spines of the boys were severed.


    According to Attorney-at-Law Nigel Hughes, who had witnessed the autopsies on behalf of the Henry family, stated that the spines of both teens were 14 inches long, four inches wide and six inches deep and had severed their spines between the first and second vertebrates.


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