Father, son slain at Konawak mining camp

A miner was shot then buried while reportedly still alive while his son was hacked to death in a brutal attack at their mining camp in Konawak Backdam, Mahdia on Wednesday.

Dead are Daniel Higgins, Senior called ‘Danny’, 48, and his son, Daniel Higgins, Junior called ‘Biggie’, 22, both of Lot 55 Main Street, Ann’s Grove, East Coast Demerara. The motive for the attack was not immediately known and a police team has been sent to the gold-mining area in Region Eight to investigate. However, a source close to the family said that Higgins Sr. and another mine operator were involved in a dispute over land and he was threatened by the man several months ago. It was not immediately clear if the police team has arrested anyone.

Reports reaching Stabroek News are that Higgins Sr., who owns a dredge, was working in the mine pit at his camp when two armed men entered and shot him in the back. A short while later his son was reportedly hacked to death by the same men.

Stabroek News was told that the Higginses had returned home from the interior last Saturday but went back on Tuesday.
At around 9am on Wednesday, Higgins Jr. called his mother in Ann’s Grove from the camp and told her that everything was fine. It is believed that a short while after this telephone call, he was hacked to death as his body was found lying in a track leading back to the camp. Stabroek News was also informed that Higgins Sr., after being shot, was buried alive by an excavator operator who was forced at gunpoint to dig a hole and perform the gruesome act. The other workers in the camp had fled the scene.

Relatives of the deceased, when approached yesterday, said that they have no idea what might have sparked the killing, but this newspaper was informed that there was a dispute over land between Higgins Sr. and the owner of a nearby camp.

According to a source who declined to have her identity revealed, a few months back the owner of the nearby operation had entered the Higgins’ camp with a sharp cutlass and belted out a series of abusive language and threats, and had to be restrained by a member of Higgins’ camp.

Up to last night, the bodies had not been brought out and there was little word on the police team. Higgins Jr. was the only son of his parents who have three other children together.

This is the second time this week that a murder has occurred in the interior. Last Sunday at Powis Backdam, North West District, Emanuel Evans was shot dead by a businessman.

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