Two held in connection with teacher’s disappearance

Crime Chief Leslie James said police have arrested two persons of interest in connection with the disappearance of high school teacher Nyozi Goodman, who vanished after a basketball game at the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall three weeks ago.

James said one of the men was previously held in connection with the disappearance of another woman. This woman is said to be Lance Corporal Patriena Nicholson, who disappeared mid-last year. She was last seen at a Republic Bank ATM at the Kitty GuyOil Gas Station. However, when questioned if it was the same man who was arrested after Nicholson mysteriously vanished, James neither confirmed nor denied it. The other man who was arrested is believed to be a soldier Goodman was in a relationship with.

According to reports, the man, a taxi driver, was dating Nicholson for a few years before things went sour and Nicholson ended it. Nicholson had complained to relatives that the man was abusive toward her and did not want to leave her alone. She had moved on with another relationship but shortly after that she disappeared.

Nyzoi Goodman
Nyzoi Goodman

Goodman has since been linked with the same man, who confessed to police that he dropped her off at the sports hall that Sunday afternoon. Nicholson’s father identified the man as the same person his daughter introduced him to a few years ago. He said the man told police that he dropped her off but never picked her up. He said he still holds hope that his daughter would be found.

On Thursday, the skeletal remains of a woman was found by a passerby in a clump of bushes along a desolate road in Turkeyen, East Coast Demerara. Immediately there was speculation that it might be the body of Goodman. Five days before the discovery, Goodman’s mother told Stabroek News that she had a feeling that her daughter was somewhere on the East Coast.

An on-site post-mortem examination was performed on the body by government pathologist Dr Nehaul Singh on Friday and his report is said to be inconclusive. The PME was performed on site because of the state of decomposition of the body. It is believed that the woman was stabbed several times about her torso.

At the crime scene, used condoms were retrieved, along with a belt that was tied around the hand of the body. Underwear and a blouse were also spotted about the body. However, no hair was found on the skull of the corpse or around it. Sources said it may have been removed to hide the woman’s identity.

The dead body was believed to belong to a woman about five feet, five inches tall, between the ages of 25 and 40 who had a rotten tooth.

The Crime Chief said the post mortem report has not yet been released but at the open autopsy there was speculation that the woman had been stabbed. He said police investigations are ongoing. He added that if DNA or dental testing needed to be carried out they would be done in cooperation with the Brazilian authorities

A construction worker, working on a house along the desolate road, said every day for the past two weeks he would be hit by a foul smell at the corner of the street where the body was discovered in a clump of bushes.

“We never use to think anything because we know people would dump dead dogs. So for the past couple days we would run pass the area down this street,” he said, adding the road, which has no lights, used to be a place where bodies would be found in the past. He added that the road was a frequent spot for lovers at night. “Cars and buses would be parked there so you never suspect anything, you just pass straight,” he said.

He said he believed the body may have been doused with kerosene to prevent it from smelling.

Another construction worker said that two days before the body was found he had stopped in front of the clump of bushes to relieve himself. He said he did not see any sign of a body. “I stopped right in front there and I didn’t see anything or even smell anything and I pass here every day. I find it strange,” he said. However, he did state that sometime last week he had smelt something putrid but dismissed it as a dead animal.

Goodman has been missing since July 6. She had been to a basketball game with some of her students, but afterwards told them to leave because someone was picking her up.

The police are still investigating the matter but they are yet to establish a reason for her disappearance or discover who would have picked her up.

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