– relatives believe jealousy was motive
A 23-year-old construction worker was stabbed to death several corners from his Better Hope home on Sunday night and relatives believe that jealousy over his recent promotion to the post of foreman was what led to the tragedy; a man is in custody assisting the police with investigations.
Dead is Latchman Persaud called `Boyo’ of Lot 22 Better Hope South, East Coast Demerara. He met his tragic end on his birth night.
Residents living close to the spot where the incident occurred were adamant that they heard nothing that night and only became aware of the stabbing when they awoke the following morning. One woman said she had heard some quarrelling but she did not look out because quarrelling was the norm in that area at night.
According to the reports reaching Stabroek News, two villagers, one of whom had held the post of foreman recently until he was fired and his son-in-law had made life for Persaud miserable, over the last few weeks.
Commander of ‘B’ Division (East Coast Demerara) Balram Persaud told this newspaper that investigating officers had spoken to residents but were still conducting investigations.
When this newspaper arrived in the community yesterday, residents were in shock. Several people had gathered on Graham Street, Better Hope, a stone’s throw away from where the incident occurred.
A knife, believed to be the murder weapon lay in a clump of rotting grass at the side of the road. Minutes after this newspaper arrived, it was removed by a uniformed officer, who wrapped it in old newspaper before leaving.
Four corners away, at the man’s home, tears flowed openly. His wife Swarsattie Etwaroo called Amanda and his mother Kalrani called Doreen were inconsolable.
Deadly phone call
Kalrani said that on Sunday, her son celebrated his 23rd birthday and he spent most of the day at home with his wife and one-year-old son Jonathan. She recalled that her son did not want her to go to work that day and had urged her to remain at home and spend the day with him. Kalrani said she did go to work, but telephoned the house for him twice. On both occasions he was asleep. However, he was there when she returned home. She said that around 9 pm Persaud told his wife that he was going on the road to buy Chinese food and after she insisted on accompanying him, he changed his mind. However, he received a telephone call and seconds later told his wife that he was going on the road to buy egg ball.
According to the relatives, the phone call lured him to his death.
Kalrani recalled that she was about to enter the bathroom about fifteen minutes after he had left when she heard him hollering, “Ma! Mammy!”. She said when her husband, who was Persaud’s stepfather ran outside, her son was covered in blood and on the verge of collapse. The grieving woman recounted that her son was lifted and placed to lie on a table in the yard.
“When I see he, he bin bleeding from he nose and he chest. It was sheer blood,” she said fighting back her tears. Persaud sustained stab wounds to the abdomen, hand and neck.
The woman told this newspaper that when she saw him he wasn’t saying anything and looked “lass away”.
She said after he was stabbed, her son had somehow gathered the strength to run all the way home. There was a trail of his blood on the roadway, she said, but the early morning rain washed it away.
She said Persaud was rushed to the hospital and she went to the Sparendaam Police Station to make a report. While she was doing so, an officer delivered the tragic news to her.
The cellular phone on which Persaud received the call is missing and according to his mother, it has been turned off.
Around 1am yesterday, she said, a white car pulled up outside the house and after a few minutes it sped away.
The mother of four said that Persaud started to work when he left school at age 15 and by 17 he had learnt masonry as well as other skills in the construction trade.
She said her son had been working on a project at the American embassy when “some problem developed” and two men, who are also from the village, were fired.
Persaud was promoted to foreman and was overjoyed at this because of his salary increase. She said that at the time of his death, he and others were constructing a building in Kitty.
The firings, coupled with Persaud’s promotion, apparently did not go down well with the men and according to Kalrani, her son was the victim of endless torment. She said that he never reported the matter to the police, but would always complain to her whenever the men accosted him.
A teary-eyed Kalrani recalled her son telling her on Sunday, ‘when yuh gon stop wuk lady? Yuh sick and yuh still ah wuk hard’. She said they spoke about splitting a bag of rice between them and finishing off their home.
She recalled him saying, ‘I will pay somebody to finish the house because me ain’t got time’.
Relatives described Persaud as a nice person who did not deserve to die in such a manner.
This is the second murder that occurred along the East Coast in as many days. On Saturday, around 10 pm, 25-year-old Vickesh Budhram was shot dead as he slept with his wife in his Lot 642 Seventeenth Street, Foulis home.
He sustained a single gunshot wound to the neck and was pronounced dead at the Georgetown Public Hospital more than an hour later.
So far no arrests have been made in this execution-style killing and the motive is still unclear. Robbery has been ruled out as no valuables were taken by the gunmen and no one else was harmed during the attack.