- suspect claims to be eyewitness
The woman whose mutilated body was found at Harlem, West Coast Demerara on Sunday has been identified as 22-year-old trainee teacher Luciana Bhagwandin, and a suspect is reportedly claiming that he witnessed her murder.
Wednesday, January 13, 2010
Bhagwandin’s father identified her remains at the West Demerara Regional Hospital yesterday after seeing a picture of his daughter in the Kaieteur News.
The family resides at Pomona, Essequibo Coast, but Bhagwandin, a first-year Cyril Potter College of Education (CPCE) student was staying in Industry, East Coast Demerara, at an aunt, who said she last saw her alive last Friday.
According to the aunt, her niece left the home at around 17:00 hrs last Friday after saying that she was going to a supermarket in Industry. However, she never returned.
She recalled that her niece was wearing a blue three-quarter pants and white sleeveless top, which were the same items of clothing that she was attired in when her mutilated corpse was found.
The aunt said that the following day, she visited the Sophia Police Station and reported that her niece was missing, and was told she had to wait 48 hours before filing a missing persons report.
A police official acknowledged yesterday that such a report was made.
The aunt said that the girl’s relatives broke the news to her yesterday.
Sources told Kaieteur News that Bhagwandin, who was married, had lived with her husband in Third Street, East Cummings Lodge, since last August.
However, the young trainee teacher had moved out of the home after a marital dispute.
Kaieteur News was told that she had started a relationship with a “possessive” man and had confided in friends that the individual would threaten to kill her and her spouse.
A source claimed to have warned Bhagwandin that she would be murdered if she failed to break off with the man.
Meanwhile, a taxi driver and three of his associates were among others in custody last night.
The driver was detained after he went to a police station to report that carjackers had attacked him in the same community in which Bhagwandin’s corpse was found. Police also observed that his body bore several scratches.
The man alleged that he had stopped to urinate on the Harlem Rice Mill Road on Saturday night when the occupants of another car attacked him and made off with his vehicle.
The man’s taxi, which was smeared with mud, was subsequently found on the West Bank of Demerara.
But Kaieteur News understands that one of the suspects, who had denied knowing Bhagwandin, has now acknowledged that he had taken the woman to Harlem in his car.
According to a source, the man alleged that he picked up Bhagwandin and “a big man” on Saturday and took them to the location.
He is said to have told police that an argument ensued between the couple and the man began to beat Bhagwandin and then started to stab her.
The man alleged that he fled the scene, leaving his car behind.
Kaieteur News understands that Bhagwandin attended classes at CPCE on Friday. She was scheduled to take an exam on Monday. When she failed to turn up for the exam, some of her colleagues tried unsuccessfully to reach her on her mobile phone.
Officials at the College described Bhagwandin as a quiet student, who would visit the dorms at night to study. One official told Kaieteur News that Bhagwandin had been asking to move into the dorms.
Bhagwandin was found dead around 09:00 hrs on Sunday in Back Street, Harlem, which is flanked by rice-fields. Her body bore several stab wounds.
She was clad in a pair of blue three-quarter pants, white sleeveless top, blue and white brassiere and a pair of brown slippers.
Wednesday, January 13, 2010