The decomposing body of a pensioner was found at his Upper Pomeroon River home last Friday and police are now investigating his death as well as a decision to burn his home with his body in it the day after the discovery.
The nude body of Winston James, 71, of St. Monica, Upper Pomeroon River, was found on a bed by his wife’s sister-in-law after she went to make her regular checks on the now dead man.
Jennifer Smithett said her husband was living alone since January after she went to work at Charity, while their daughter attended school on the coast. It is unclear how James met his demise and his wife said that she would have been satisfied if police investigations were conducted but any evidence is likely to have been destroyed in the fire.
Even though James had an enlarged heart, Smithett is questioning if her husband intentionally lay nude on his bed and eventually died or if there was foul play.
This, she said, is something that he never did and she is confused by it.
James was last seen alive by his wife and daughter two weeks before he died. He had no phone, so there was no contact between him and his family between visits.
According to Smithett, two weeks prior to his death, her husband had visited the Oscar Joseph District Hospital at Charity because he said he was not feeling well.
She said that he, however, told her that he felt better after his visit to the doctor. “Nobody knows the day when he died because he was alone and my sister-in-law said that she had not gone to check on him for about four days.
But around 12pm on Friday, my nephew called me and said that my husband was dead and his body had started spoiling and I must travel home immediately,” the woman recounted.
She explained that when she reached her home, she saw the decomposed body of her husband lying on a bed. “We could not go straight in the house because of the smell and I had to sleep by my sister-in-law.
The Captain said that he had already informed the police about what happen and the police said that we must decide what we want to do with the body—if we will burn or bury it because it already spoil. According to what I hear, the police said that they could not go up to St. Monica,” the woman said.
Smithett explained that an official of the St Monica community said that the police gave instructions for the house to be burnt and on Saturday the house was destroyed with the body of James inside, leaving her and her 16-year-old daughter Marsene James without a home.
When contacted by Stabroek News, the Sergeant-in-Charge of the Charity Police Station said that permission was not granted by the police to burn the house. He also said that the matter will be investigated thoroughly.