Missing Sophia woman found dead in trench

The mutilated body of Simone Hackett, who was reported missing since Saturday, was discovered yesterday morning in a trench at Cummings Lodge, a short distance away from her home.

Hackett, 25, a mother of one who resided at ‘C’ Field, Sophia, was last seen alive by her relatives on Saturday around 8.30pm, when she left home to pick up a package sent by the father of her child.

Crime Chief Wendell Blanhum, when contacted yesterday afternoon, said investigators were making every effort to arrest the man, who they were unable to locate.

Dead: Simone Hackett
Dead: Simone Hackett

Hackett’s decomposing body was found around 8am yesterday between Third and Fourth streets, Cummings Lodge, East Coast Demerara, by two school boys, who were on their way to school. They alerted a neighbour who informed the police.

A cutlass, the suspected murder weapon, was found under her body.

Hackett’s neck was slashed and there were three wounds to the back of her head. She was fully clothed and all the jewellery she had been wearing at the time she left home was found intact.

As the news of the gruesome discovery spread, scores of residents and passersby gathered at the scene.

When Stabroek News arrived at the scene, it was observed that detectives had cordoned the section where Hackett’s body was found. Police officers were also seen directing traffic, which was moving slowly.

A number of relatives were also present, many of whom wept bitterly upon glimpsing the body. The body was in a clump of bushes and appeared as though it was there for over a day. The area was reported by residents to be usually dark at nights, since there are no street lights.

Hackett’s father, Gerald Hackett, while fighting back tears, told reporters that he now had to plan for a funeral, days after planning a wedding for his other daughter. “Look what happen. It was a wedding and now it is a death. I give away one and now I have to bury one,” the father said.

An aunt of the dead woman, who is currently on vacation in Guyana, told this newspaper that at this point in time all the family is looking for is justice. “I need answers, we need answers, the police need to find [the alleged suspect] wherever he is, so he can pay for this and provide us with answers,” the aunt declared.

She said she received a call from a close friend yesterday morning informing her that a decomposed body was found. As a result, family members immediately rushed to the area where their worst fear was confirmed.

At the time, she was heading to Blanhum’s office as the family had received some additional information in relation to the case.

Pick up

Hackett went missing on Saturday evening, the day before her sister’s wedding, where she was to have been maid of honour, and her son’s second birthday.

On Monday, the aunt had told Stabroek News that around 7.30 on Saturday evening, Hackett received a call from someone identified only as “Dexter” requesting that she leave to pick up the package which was sent for her son’s birthday by his father. She was expecting a quantity of cash and some raw gold to make jewellery for the child.

However, some two hours later she called her father’s phone, which was answered by her sister. “She told her sister that she is at UG Embankment Road after she was requested by Dexter to stand there after he changed his direction, and he [Dexter] was taking too long to come, so she wanted to come home and she knew her father was nearby at the Giftland Mall, so she was asking him to pick her up while he was going home but he did already reach home,” the distraught aunt recalled.

The aunt said after that calls to Hackett’s phone went unanswered. “One time we got a call… [but] didn’t hear anyone saying anything, just some breeze like she was in a moving vehicle,” she stated.

The matter was reported to the Turkeyen Police Station on Sunday morning.

The aunt said that based on information she received, the father of Hackett’s child was claiming, “he doesn’t even know where this guy Dexter lives or where we can find him or anything. He just said he knows him because he works sometimes in Mahdia.”

The aunt explained that Hackett and the father of her child had been involved in a dispute over custody of the two-year-old. She said, “One time he even take away the child to Mahdia and she [Hackett] had to go and bring him back to Georgetown.” She said her niece had worked in a shop in the interior and at one point in time the man had hidden Hackett’s passport and other documents so that she would be unable to return home.

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