Relatives frustrated by slothfulness of police in apprehending suspect in Rachpaul murder

Rachpaul’s son Leonard called Lenny, remains firm that the suspect played a major role in the robbery/murder and had help from at least two other persons.

In October the police issued a wanted bulletin for Ryan Kissoon, called ‘Dhal Belly,‘ in connection with the murder but to date no information has surfaced as to where he might be hidin

Harold Rachpaul

g out.

It has been four months since the murder and relatives are frustrated by the sloth of the police in investigating the matter.

Leonard in a recent interview with Stabroek News said that he had visited the police station more than 10 times and is yet to meet a rank. He said that every time he goes to check on the status of the investigation no rank is ever in the office.

“I get so disgusted now,” he said, recalling how he went just before Election Day and the result was the same. Realizing that the ranks probably had their hands full because of the elections tension and beefed up security around Georgetown, the still grief-stricken man said that he visited the station just over a week ago and “the place was quiet. No rank was there.”  He could not suggest any reasonable explanation as to why the ranks are never in the office when he visits.

His belief is that the police are deliberately dragging their feet on the case but despite this, he considers it is only a matter of time before Kissoon is caught.

Relatives became suspicious after a woman on her way to the market reported seeing the man exiting Rachpaul’s yard at around 4am, hours before the elderly man was discovered dead. At the time, the woman related, the suspect was wearing a pair of short pants. Kissoon was employed as a security guard at a nearby businessplace.

Leonard told this newspaper that after this information was passed to the police, the officer borrowed a relative’s cellular phone to call the suspect. He recalled him telling Kissoon that he had half an hour to present himself at the police station. On the basis of what he overheard, he concluded that Kissoon was asking the policeman the reason.

He recalled that as time passed and the man did not show up, attempts were made to contact him several times but Kissoon did not take the calls.

He explained that calls were made from different numbers but the result was the same each time. No one answered.

According to Leonard, the man called back later and threatened to kill relatives.  Furthermore, at the time the call was made, the police did not have a correct address for the man. Numerous addresses were given and the police checked them all, but by then the man was nowhere to be found. Leonard said that the first address was Albouys Street, Albouystown.

When ranks turned up they were sent to a Tucville address where a woman associated with Kissoon was said to be living. While there, the woman denied that the man lived there and gave ranks an East Coast address. That too did not yield any results.

Leonard said that from all appearances the police were doing nothing to find the man or to find evidence that could solve the crime.

He expressed the view that the man may have fled the country through the backtrack route. However, he said, the police were telling him otherwise and were insisting that Kissoon was hiding out somewhere in Guyana.

At some point information was received that the man may be hiding in Essequibo and according to Leonard the police had since told him that a copy of the wanted bulletin was sent there to be circulated and that investigators were hoping that some recognized his face.

‘He recognized them’
Leonard was adamant that Rachpaul was killed because he recognized the intruders. He recalled that the night before the shocking discovery, he had locked up the business and was heading to his bus which was parked outside. The elderly man lived alone in an apartment behind the pharmacy.

Leonard said that as he was walking out he saw the suspect walking into the yard next door. The man “jump when he see me,” he said, but kept walking.. The man noted that the suspect often limed in front of the yard nearby and would sometimes gang up there with other security guards. He said that the man worked Sunday to Sunday from afternoon to the next morning.

At no point, Leonard said, did his father complain about the suspect. Leonard added that at night two unsavoury characters usually met in the yard next door, which houses the Rayon House of Fashion and other businesses and expressed the belief that it was there that the plot to rob his father was hatched.

He insisted that Kissoon could not have committed the crime alone and that there had to have been at least two other persons involved.

“It was well planned…They killed him because they knew he woulda talk,” he said, adding that his father had planned to build a house and had several million dollars wrapped in newspaper in his home.

Leonard said that he believed that after getting the money and strangling Rachpaul,  the perpetrators went to the back where they split the money and threw the wrapping over the fence.

There is one way in and one way out into the yard. He said apparently after splitting the loot they each walked through the gate and went their separate ways.

‘My Christmas and New Year’s gift’
A sombre Leonard told Stabroek News that he wants the police to spend more time on the case even if it means sending a special team to Essequibo to look for the suspect. The man said that catching the suspect would be “my Christmas and New Year’s present in one.”

“I want the police to know that if I am looking for a Christmas gift it would be to catch the killer,” he said, insisting that there is someone out there who has information that can crack the case wide open and ensure the family gets justice.

For the Rachpaul family, though they are still in grief, life must go on. Weeks after the murder, the pharmacy was reopened and is once again providing a service to members of the public.

Leonard’s son Vincent was the first to discover Rachpaul’s bound and gagged body beside his bed at his Lot 75 Robb Street home on  August 19.  The father and son had gone to the location to help with the opening and running of the pharmacy, a daily routine. The two had locked up the night before and had gone home.

It is believed that after they left Rachpaul locked up his dogs who were constantly barking and it was then that he was pounced upon.

After ordering him to open a vault where the money was kept, Rachpaul was bound, gagged and suffocated.

When he was found, he was wrapped in two sheets, which were held together by metallic cord. His hands were also tied in front of him.

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