Almost four years to the day since he vanished, the mystery of missing boy Ricky Jainarine endures and with the conviction last week of three ex-coastguards of the murder of a gold dealer, relatives want police to reopen the investigation into the boy’s disappearance and the deaths of his father and a friend.
Based on the circumstances of the incident in 2009, relatives believe that the then Coast Guards were involved, but a police investigation got nowhere. On the evening of August 11, 2009, Ricky, his father Jainarine Dinanauth, 45, and a family friend, Henry Gibson, 45, were heading from Parika to Hog Island in the Essequibo River. The bodies of the two men were discovered in the shattered boat the next morning but there was no sign of Ricky. He has never been seen since.
A relentless search by the boy’s mother Salimoon Rahaman failed to yield any sign of the lad. Rahaman and other members of the public believe that Coast Guard ranks were involved in the incident and had murdered the men. Their suspicions were heightened after three Coast Guard ranks Sherwyn Hart, Deon Greenidge and Devon Gordon were charged with killing Bartica gold dealer, Dweive Kant Ramdass in the Essequibo River at around the same time. The trio was found guilty of murder in unanimous verdicts by a jury last week and they were sentenced to death by Justice Franklyn Holder
Yesterday, the boy’s aunt Shakeela Rahaman told Stabroek News that given the conviction of the three ex-coastguards, police should reopen the investigation into the missing boy and the deaths of his father and Gibson. Stabroek News was unable to get in touch with Salimoon who now lives in Caria Caria due to the limited phone service in the Essequibo river community.
The incident with Ramdass occurred a week after the boat collision. According to the state’s case Hart, Greenidge and Gordon killed Ramdass between August 20 and August 22, 2009, at Caiman Hole, East Bank Essequibo after they robbed him of $17 million.
Shakeela said that since the initial days of the investigation, they have not had any further word from the police. “It’s an unsolved matter up to now,” she said. “No answers, nothing at all.”
The woman said that it has been difficult for her sister. “It’s not easy, she spend the last dollar to look for the kid,” Shakeela stated while recalling searching the islands of the Essequibo including empty houses on Fort Island for Ricky. “She [Salimoon] still has hope that one day she will see him alive,” Shakeela said. “She has no answer up to now.” Shakeela recounted how her sister went to the court during the preliminary inquiry to see if the Coast Guards could offer any answers and having to confront hostile relatives. She also recalled the protests and the runaround by the police as they sought to push investigators to do more.
Now, given the questions raised, the police should try harder, Shakeela said. “What’s going on with this kid,” she asked. “If they find he dead, we will know he died but he’s nowhere to be seen.”
Like other relatives, she has suspicions about the ex-coastguards. “They had to know about it,”
the woman commented. “If they could do that to Ramdass, why they couldn’t do it to these guys? It’s going straight back to them.”
In the weeks following the incident, the Guyana Defence Force (GDF) investigated but said this was “inconclusive” though the Force’s Board of Inquiry found that the Coast Guard vessel –RC12 ‒ was in the Essequibo River at the time that Dinanauth and the two others were in the river.
Relatives have also pointed to the fact that the other boat involved in the incident did not contact the authorities following it, and to date, that boat has not been identified. Suspicious too was the fact that items Dinanauth had on his person were missing though his licensed firearm was left in his pocket. He had just returned from the interior, where he mined and reportedly had some raw gold on his person along with over $500,000 and a gold watch, all of which was missing when his body was found. He also had a bag that has not been found.
The autopsy results had shown that both men had died of asphyxiation due to drowning but that there was also blunt trauma to the head, chest and stomach. It was postulated that the men could have been beaten and their heads held under water. This also seemed likely as the bodies were found in the shattered boat and not in the water.
Additionally, an investigation by the Maritime Administration Department (MARAD) had found blue paint on the green Coast Guard vessel. And there were green paint marks on the blue and white boat that the trio was in. Persons had also reported that in the days following August 11, the Coast Guard boat was dry-docked for three days and there were reports that a section had been painted over. The blue paint samples from the Coast Guard boat were handed over to the police for testing but the police later said that the samples did not match.