Arrest made in Groete Creek murder

-stolen boat tracked to Airy Hall

Police have made an arrest in the murder of Groete Creek resident Osmond Fiedtkou and his stolen boat was yesterday tracked to Airy Hall, Essequibo Coast.

Contacted yesterday Crime Chief Leslie James told Stabroek News that a person was taken into custody last evening. Stabroek News was made to understand that the man who is Fiedtkou’s neighbour may be more of a main witness as opposed to a suspect. The man had reported hearing the 70-year-old man screaming followed by a single gunshot last Wednesday. He was also the first to discover the man’s body four days later.

Osmond Fiedtkou
Osmond Fiedtkou

A relative of Fiedtkou who requested that her identity be withheld told Stabroek News last evening that they received information that around 2:30 am a watchman saw a boat matching the description of Fiedtkou’s passing Buckhall, Essequibo River around 2:30 am. The man has since given police a statement.

According to the relative, the man related that the boat proceeded to Troolie Island which is located across the river from Barama Company Limited. She said that according to the watchman, he saw one person in the vessel.

She said that they later received information that sometime later that morning a boat which was moored at Troolie Island was stolen and the boat that the watchman saw was seen towing the stolen boat. The woman said that the stolen boat – Miss Lovern, was subsequently found at Airy Hall, Essequibo Coast. She said that the 75 horse power engine which was in Miss Lovern is missing.

She said that the person who stole Fiedtkou’s boat is suspected to be armed and dangerous as they have stolen the man’s shotgun and cartridges. According to the woman, there is a possibility that he may attempt to steal the 75 horse power engine and she urged persons to be on the lookout for such a person.

The woman told Stabroek News that based on the information that they have gathered the suspected murderer is known to Fiedtkou as the man had travelled to the area and had stayed with him on a previous occasion. According to her, the suspect claimed that he is a policeman and was investigating a murder which had occurred in the creek sometime last year.

She said that sometime last week, the man paid a boatman $5000 to transport him from Lanaballi to Fiedtkou’s home in Groete Creek. The boatman who has since given a statement to the police, had said that the man’s arrival apparently angered Fiedtkou who called the man a liar.

The following day, persons saw them buying fuel apparently for a journey further into the creek. Fiedtkou lives at the Creek mouth.

She said that the two men were seen last Wednesday in the creek. That afternoon around 4 pm she said, a man stopped at Fiedtkou’s landing and spoke with him. The man notice the suspect looking through the window of Fiedtkou’s house. About an hour later, she said a neighbour passed and waved to the man but did not stop. That neighbour did not recall seeing anyone else there. The neighbour she said has since claimed that around 9 pm he heard a loud noise at the creek mouth. He lives around ¾ mile from there. The neighbour said too that the noise was followed by Fiedtkou shouting, then a single gunshot. Thereafter, the neighbour heard the five- horse power engine starting. The boat it was powering then proceeded down river.

The neighbour and his wife, based on what was recounted to this newspaper decided to visit the man’s house last Saturday after not seeing him. A window was open but there was no one there. This prompted them to call relatives who travelled to the man’s home around 6:30 pm. After they failed to locate him, a report was made to the Bartica Police Station.

Around 6 am, the following day a search party and relatives and police travelled to the Groete Creek area and while on their way they met the neighbour who informed them that he had early spotted the body. When they went to that location, the woman said, they found the man’s body lying face down on the sandy beach. She said that in addition to the gunshot wound, there were black and blue marks on the body, an indication that he might have been beaten.

It was explained that Groete Creek, Troolie Island and Airy Hall are all in the same general area.

The relative stated that the man had no right to take Fiedtkou’s life adding that the family is confident that they will get justice.

A post mortem will be conducted on Fiedtkou’s body today and he is expected to be buried at Caria Caria, Essequibo Coast tomorrow.

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