The family of Nathan Samuel James, who was found dead at Jacklow, Pomeroon River, earlier this month, says there is evidence of an attempt by investigators to cover-up his murder.
On May 9th, when James’ unmanned boat was found drifting in the Pomeroon River, the visible damage led his family to believe that it had been hit by another vessel and he fell overboard and drowned.
Two days later, James’ body was found and his family’s expectations were upended when the post-mortem examination found that he did not drown, and instead suggested that he had been murdered. It was the first of a number of surprises over the last two weeks that has left his family convinced that an effort is being made to cover-up a crime.
An eyewitness told police that he saw when a man killed James.
The suspect, who had been a business partner of the deceased, was held by police and he had visible injuries about his body, but he was released after a few hours in custody. The suspect was later seen drinking with the investigators.
A source close to the investigation told Stabroek News recently that from the actions of the police investigating the case, it is clear that they want to bungle the investigation. This newspaper was reliably informed that a report was made by persons in the area to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) that investigators and the suspect were seen consuming beverages at a shop in Essequibo. Officials at the DPP chambers were provided with the name of the shop and the time that the group was there.
The source said that what is even stranger is that the case file is yet to be sent to the DPP for advice. Also, the suspect had visible injuries and more should have been done to ascertain how he sustained them. Further, the source questioned the reason behind the suspect later being in the company of the investigators.
James, a father of 11, left his home at Arapiako-Kabakaburi Village, Upper Pomeroon, for Charity, Essequibo Coast to conduct business around 3 pm on May 8th. He was scheduled to return home that night but did not. Persons in Charity told relatives that the man left the area around 7 pm. His wife, Maylene Daniels, later received information that a boat was found drifting “below Charity” and she travelled to the Charity Police Station, where she identified the boat as belonging to James. Daniels said that there was visible damage from the bow to the stern, which suggested that another vessel had grazed it. Further, the motor was dislodged and was hanging outside the boat. As a result, she believed another boat had slammed into James’ while he was returning home.
James’ distraught daughter Nicolette says that it is clear that her father was killed, with the post-mortem examination results convincing her and other relatives that there was foul play in his death. A copy of the results shown to this newspaper stated that James died as a result of “multiple injuries.” The examination was done by Dr. Nehaul Singh and Nicolette said that the pathologist told them that no water was found in James’ lungs and that he sustained blunt trauma to the head. She said they were told too that James had a broken neck and nose. “This post-mortem show that he didn’t have no alcohol or water in his body. So that mean that he didn’t drown that somebody kill he,” she said.
Stabroek News was told that James’ family members almost paid $25,000 to have the post-mortem examination done. It was explained that when they first saw the body, it was in a box outside of the Suddie Hospital’s morgue and was decomposing. Because of the state of the body, they inquired from the police if the post-mortem could not be done earlier and they were told that while a doctor was unavailable, if they wanted to have it done sooner they had to pay over the money. James’ relatives decided to pay the money but later opted out of the arrangement after the police refused to give them a receipt.
“I want the police to find who killed him,” Nicolette told this newspaper, while lamenting that each time she checked with investigators, she was told that investigations are being conducted “but is like they ain’t doing nothing.”
She believes that her father was killed during a robbery, since a five gallon bottle of gasoline that he had purchased at Charity remains missing. According to her, the police held the suspect shortly after her father’s body was found and a man came forward and made a report that incriminated the suspect, who was, however, released the same day. “I believe that he had information,” she stressed, while adding that many parts of the case are not adding up.
Believing that police were doing little to solve the case, the Arapiako-Kabakaburi captain travelled to the Anna Regina Police Station and inquired about the information from the eyewitness but he was told that there was no report. According to Nicolette, a report was made but it has mysteriously vanished. She and other family members say they have been through a lot during the last week said that the man’s children, eight of whom are minors, need justice and the many questions surrounding his death answered.