Sean Griffith, the man whose burnt remains were recovered after a suspected arson at his Golden Grove, East Coast Demerara home on Thursday, died of smoke inhalation, according to the results of an autopsy that was conducted yesterday.
Commander of ‘C’ Division Calvin Brutus told Stabroek News that due to the state of Griffith’s body, it was unclear if there were any suspected gunshot wounds or mutilation.
However, he added that Griffith’s death is still being investigated and the man who was detained on Thursday remained in custody. Residents believe that Griffith, 40, of 67 Side Line Dam, Golden Grove, was murdered before the house was set on fire. They reported hearing explosive sounds, suspected to be gunshots, prior to noticing the house on fire.
The police commander pointed out that investigating ranks have taken statements from residents as a part of their investigation. Police had previously stated that the fire was being treated as an act of arson.
Griffith’s sister, Shannon Haynes, yesterday told this publication that at this point the family is focused on laying her brother to rest and has not contacted the police for an update on the status of the investigation. The fire was seen at approximately 1.10 am, and neighbours said they sounded an alarm but only a cousin, who was residing in the bottom flat of the two-storey concrete building, responded.
After seeing the fire, residents said they called out to Griffith but their calls went unanswered. However, they said the cousin, who was downstairs, said “somebody up there” and proceeded to remove his items from the bottom flat.
The neighbours said that despite numerous calls and the intense heat, they did not see Griffith, leading them to believe that he was already dead.
The gutted property is owned by Griffith’s father, who resides overseas.
By the time the fire service responded, the fire had gutted the house. This publication learnt that two fire tenders responded to the fire and was able to extinguish it completely at around 5 am.