Kato cops murder probe stagnates, suspect released

Insufficient evidence might have led the police to release a man whom they had identified as a suspect in the murder of two Kato-based policemen and although from all indications the case is now at a standstill, Crime Chief Seelall Persaud said that investigations are continuing.

On December 9 last police had said in a press release that a suspect in the murder was arrested when police conducted a search at a mining camp at Karisparu, North Pakarai-mas where explosives were found.

One person was later charged in relation to the explosives.

Leadon Aaron
Leadon Aaron

When contacted recently about the murder investigation, Persaud said that the suspect had to be released on bail. The suspect is a Brazilian national and based on the reports that had been received following the discovery of Constables Marlon Letlow and Leadon Aaron, fingers were pointed at Brazilians.

Persaud said that although the suspect has been released, the investigation is still continuing.

The two ranks had left the Kato Police Station, in Region Eight on an ATV on patrol duties on October 14 and never returned. Two days later the police received information that an upturned ATV with its headlamps on was found at Paramakatoi. It had apparently been spotted by a Brazilian man who was passing through the area. The man also spotted blood on the vehicle but saw no one.

On the following day, the bloodied bodies of the two men were found in the general area. Letlow, 27, was found lying face down with gunshot wounds to his back while Aaron, 25, was found tied to a still smoking tree trunk, a short distance away.

Aaron had been stationed in the interior area for just over two years, while Letlow had been there for six weeks.

Police had said in a press release, that the service Carbine that had been uplifted by Letlow was recovered along with eight rounds and eight spent shells, while the .38 service revolver that had been uplifted by Aaron was missing.

The release added that one spent 12-gauge shotgun cartridge had been found at the scene, and the force’s ATV had been recovered.

The police had said that Letlow was reinstated in the force on August 6 this year after he had been interdicted from duty because of a charge of receiving stolen property following the robbery and murder of two gold miners at Bartica on September 5, 2010. The matter was dismissed by the court on May 15 last.

 Marlon Letlow
Marlon Letlow

The crime chief told this newspaper last November that investigators had been able to confirm that the duo had taken money from an excavator operator. He explained that the ranks had demanded $300, 000 from a miner who owned an excavator. This confirmation apparently came from the excavator owner’s son who was among several persons held for questioning. Police are still trying to find the excavator owner or account for the money that was handed over to the two ranks.

According to what Persaud had said, the two ranks went to the miner and told him that his machinery was breaking up the roadway and subsequently demanded money from him.

The roadway, he said is located somewhere in the Paramakatoi area, where the ranks were later found dead.

The arrest of the suspect came one day after Police Commissioner (ag) Leroy Brumell said that investigators are working to bring the killer to justice. He had vowed that the matter would not be swept under the mat.

Security experts had expressed the view that there was more to the death of the ranks than was being revealed.

‘No hope’

Letlow’s aunt Samantha Allen said she had already concluded that she has no justice to get. She said she has no hope that the perpetrators will ever be caught.

The woman during a brief telephone interview said that the police do not keep in touch with the family and neither she nor her family keep in touch with the police.

The woman said that from the beginning she was of the view that the perpetrators would go free.

She said that even when the suspect was arrested, police never called the family to update them on the situation. She said that at the moment she is just trying to keep herself strong for her family.

Stabroek News was unable to make contact with Aaron’s family. His mother Bernadette had told this newspaper that she had developed a hatred for the force for the way they treated her family and son, especially after his death.

The woman said that she felt betrayed while relating that her son badly wanted to join the force, a career path she had not fully embraced.

She was also adamant that attempts were being made to cover up something.

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