A 74-year-old pensioner was found dead in her Essequibo Coast home yesterday morning.
Surspattie Ramlakhan, called ‘Aunty Carmen,’ of Lot 47 Richmond, Sideline Dam, was murdered sometime between Thursday night and early yesterday morning, police said.
The police said the body of the woman bore scratch marks on her neck and other marks of violence that pointed to rape. It is unclear whether the act was committed by more than one person.
A post-mortem examination is scheduled to confirm the cause of death.
Ramlakhan, who had no children, lived alone in a cottage. She was last since alive on Thursday by her nephew, Tardeo Singh, of Henrietta Village, when she visited him at his home.
The woman made her living by selling snacks and sweets to villagers in front of her home and was well known in the village.
She had reportedly left her nephew’s home to go to the market to buy mangoes on Thursday and then returned home.
At around 7.30 am yesterday, a neighbour of the dead woman shouted for her several times to alert her about a snake that was eating one of her fowls. After she did not receive a response, the neighbour went into Ramlakhan’s yard and she saw the back door open.
“When I gone in, I see Aunty Carmen lying on her bedroom floor on her back and she legs de open,” the neighbour said. She added that the white nightgown Ramlakhan was wearing was bundled at her waist.
The police and relatives of the woman were immediately summoned and investigations were conducted.
Another of Ramlakhan’s nephews, Latchman Rajpaul, told Stabroek News that he was informed that someone broke and entered the home of his aunt. “When I hear that, I rush and come here and I was shocked because I did not know that my aunt was raped and then killed. When I reach, the police say nobody cyan go in until they finish investigating. Then after they say that they find condom packets so that mean my aunt was raped,” he lamented.
He added that whoever raped his aunt had gained access from a window on the western side of her home.
“After the police look around, they took the body to the Suddie Mortuary. I am very sad to know that my aunt was killed so brutally. I am hoping that whoever did this can be found,” he added.
Ramlakhan’s neighbours said they did not hear any unusual sounds during the night.