US army doctor murder Relatives still waiting for justice

The investigations into the murder of US army doctor Captain Max Kungel have seemingly come to an end with the suicide of one of the suspects, and according to relatives they are disappointed that there have been no moves by authorities to ensure that they get justice.

“I wish for justice for him. I am amazed that the police and even the media are quiet on this matter,” one relative said.
The man who preferred to remain unnamed told Stabroek News recently that they have heard nothing new. He noted that all Kungel’s immediate relatives who had travelled to Guyana following his death have returned home.

According to the relative he is surprised at the state of the investigation as he had believed that because of who Kungel was the authorities would have ensured that everything was done to catch his killer/s.

Dr Kungel’s bloodied body was discovered in the No 72 Village backlands around 8 am on Sunday, March 17 with gunshot wounds. The body was upright in the driver’s side of his rented Toyota Tacoma. A post mortem later revealed that he had sustained gunshot wounds. Investigators are not convinced that he was a victim of robbery and there are suspicions that he was lured to the isolated spot by someone he knew and trusted.

Max Kungel
Max Kungel

A day after the discovery, Omesh Thakurdin, a paternal cousin along with several others were arrested and questioned at the Springlands Police Station. Around 8.50 that evening he was transferred to the No 51 Police Station.

Police were conducting checks of his cell around 5.20 the following morning when he was discovered hanging from the grillwork. Police officials later said that there was nothing to tie either of them to the killing.

The relative Stabroek News spoke to recently said that he is disappointed that the police would drag their feet on the investigation by laying the blame on Thakurdin who is already dead and not here to defend himself. “In my heart it is not he who killed him [Kungel]”, the relative said, adding that they are all convinced that there was more to his death.

“We are not in agreement [about the way he died]. The circumstances surrounding his death leaves things in a gap,” he said. “The circumstances are not really convincing to the family and myself.”

According to the relatives what was outlined by the police is strange. While speaking to Stabroek News the man queried why the police made no effort to contact relatives and why they rushed to take him to the mortuary before doing so.

“If they recognized that he was dead why not contact relatives?” the man asked before describing police actions that day as “a big hoax.”
Relatives after his death said that they were convinced that there was more to his death, especially since he was not suicidal. They had pointed out too that Thakurdin was about to be married and had already built his house ‒ signs that he wanted to live.
The man also expressed disappointment in the US Embassy.

“US Embassy should have shown more interest in the matter. He was a US diplomat and he was attached to the government. They should be showing more interest,” the relative said, adding that they have not heard anything from officials there.

According to the relative “everything is close and quiet,” noting that he and other relatives endure many sleepless nights. “We are looking for answers,” he repeated, adding that police are just too quiet.  He said that there might be some internal investigation going on into both deaths, but relatives are being kept in the dark.
He said that the hope was that the local authorities would work in collaboration with US officials to find the answers to the many questions they have: “I call on the police to act a little more to catch the culprit/culprits so that at least we could get a little peace of mind.”

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