Mystery grows in Berbice cousins’ disappearance with ‘strange calls’ to parents

Strange calls about their sons’ whereabouts have reached the mothers of Odel Downer and Winston Johashen, the two cousins who have been missing in the interior for more than a month now.

Merlyn Downer and Mursha Johashen, mothers of the missing 20-year-olds, are continuing their search for their sons, despite disturbing reports coupled with what they say is a poor response from the police.

Odel of Number 8 Village, West Coast Berbice, and his cousin, Winston, of Number 9 Village, had started working as miners at 14 Mile, Issano only about three months ago before their disappearances sometime in May.

Missing: Odel Downer, 20
Missing: Odel Downer, 20
Missing: Winston Johashen, 20
Missing: Winston Johashen, 20

When contacted by Stabroek News, Merlyn disclosed that she had been receiving “strange calls” from an unknown number. According to her, the caller would inform her that the boys’ were alive “but hidden away at the river front.” The calls, Merlyn said, are puzzling and worrying. She has no idea, she added, just where the “river front” is.

Both mothers also expressed dissatisfaction with the police’s investigation into the matter; they are yet to be updated by the police on any progress. “I haven’t heard anything from the police; I ain’t even receive a call,” she said. “I am not satisfied with the police investigation at all,” she emphasized.

The woman explained that she has been suffering through sleepless nights and just wants the police to take some action. “They should at least send in a rank [into the interior]. I think they need to get together with us and organise a trip in with the family to search,” Merlyn suggested.

Meanwhile, the supervisor of the missing youths’ camp is “unreachable”. The mothers had strongly suspected that the man was somehow involved in their sons’ disappearances. Though they had raised this concern with the police, they are yet to see any response to it.

The supervisor had informed that the duo had “broken camp” in the middle of the night. The explanation had immediately raised suspicions, especially when one considers the difficulties associated with leaving the interior during the night.

A former co-worker of the cousins had shared with this newspaper that the story of abandonment seemed very unlikely.

“No transportation is available in the middle of the night and it’s extremely hazardous to travel during the night,” the man said. He continued, “There are animals and lots of bush; you can’t even see your hands in front of your face. It’s totally strange; nobody would leave there in the middle of the night,” he maintained.

Latest in Local News

Omar Shariff

Ministry of the Presidency official Shariff sent on leave pending SOCU investigation

Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of the Presidency (MOTP), Omar Shariff has been sent on leave by Minister of State, Joseph Harmon, a release from MOTP said today.

default placeholder

Body found in rubble of Wales fire

At 01:30hrs today, police say that a fire destroyed a home at Wales, West Bank Demerara, and the body of an unidentified person was subsequently discovered among the rubble.

default placeholder

Exxon Mobil says second well confirms `significant’ oil find

Exxon Mobil Corporation today said that drilling results from the Liza-2 well, the second exploration well in the Stabroek block offshore Guyana, confirm a world-class find with a recoverable deposit of between 800 million and 1.4 billion oil-equivalent barrels.

default placeholder

Proposed law bans smoking in public places

Proposed tobacco control legislation will see a ban on smoking in public places while cigarette advertising will no longer be allowed and pictorial and text health warnings will have to be displayed on at least 75% of the packaging on tobacco products.

default placeholder

$800M in specialty hospital steel ‘awarded’ to BK

Government needs to explain why about $800 million worth of steel and other equipment that were earmarked for the now-frozen specialty hospital project, went solely to businessman Brian Tiwarie, former President Donald Ramotar says.

Ezekiel Murray

Truck driver jailed for three years for crash causing child’s death

Clyde Barker, the truck driver who was accused of running over 12-year-old Ezekiel Murray along the Friendship Public Road last year and causing his death, was yesterday sentenced to 3 years imprisonment.

default placeholder

Businessman jailed and fined over gun, ammo possession

A businessman was yesterday sentenced to two years imprisonment and fined $100,000 after being found guilty of illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition.

default placeholder

Business minister ‘in denial’ over economic ‘crisis’

Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo yesterday said that Minister of Business Dominic Gaskin is in denial about Guyana not being in an economic crisis.

Comments

About these comments

The comments section is intended to provide a forum for reasoned and reasonable debate on the newspaper's content and is an extension of the newspaper and what it has become well known for over its history: accuracy, balance and fairness. We reserve the right to edit or delete comments which contain attacks on other users, slander, coarse language and profanity, and gratuitous and incendiary references to race and ethnicity.

Stay updated! Follow Stabroek News on Facebook or Twitter.

Get the day's headlines from SN in your inbox every morning: