An ex-partner of Kescia Branche, the school teacher who succumbed to injuries after being found unconscious on the side of a city street on Sunday, was arrested yesterday as police continued to investigate the circumstances that led to her death.
Commander of ‘A’ Division Marlon Chapman last night confirmed the arrest of the man, who is the father of Branche’s son. He was arrested yesterday afternoon. He is the second civilian to have been taken into custody.
“Another civilian along with two policemen are in custody,” Chapman said, while clarifying that two other policemen are also being questioned as part of the investigation.
Alfred Branche, the father of the deceased, told Stabroek News that the father of Branche’s child, to his knowledge, was co-operating with investigators and had given a statement. He said it was unclear to him if the man was being treated as a suspect and what he told investigators. “This is a trying time for us. We are looking to celebrate her life and not focus too much on mourning her death because she was a jovial, vibrant and outgoing person,” he said.
He added that the family is optimistic that justice would be served and that time would give them closure. “Closure is not something we would get overnight because when you love someone who was important in your life, you cannot forget them when they die,” he noted.
“She lived for her son, everything she did was for her son. We haven’t told him that his mommy would not come back. His aunt, who is a twin, is here and he thinks it is mother. When he saw her, he ran to her… he would never know what his mother did for him and he would never get a chance to appreciate his mother,” said the elder Branche as he fought back tears.
He pointed out that family members kept asking what Kescia could have possibly done to the perpetrator/s to deserve the fate she suffered.
Branche, 22, was in found next to a coconut tree along Louisa Row, Georgetown, sometime around 5 on Sunday morning. She succumbed on Tuesday afternoon in the Intensive Care Unit of the Georgetown Public Hospital.
She had sustained head injuries and a broken foot. The doctor who treated her told her family that the head injuries appeared to be consistent with blows to the head.
Branche was seen leaving the Blue Martini nightclub on Lamaha Street on Saturday night in the company of two on-duty constables. After leaving the nightclub, the trio had ventured to a barbeque spot on Mandela Avenue.
While waiting on their order, one of the constables reportedly told investigators that he left to use the washroom and when he returned he did not see Branche. When he asked his colleague, who had remained with her, about her whereabouts, he was told that she left with a taxi.
When Stabroek News visited the Barbecue spot on Mandela Avenue yesterday, the owner said he was not aware if Branche and the lawmen visited on Saturday night. He noted that he would have to enquire from his staff who worked that night. How-ever, he indicated that investigators did not visit his business to ask further questions of the story related by the policemen who are being questioned. The business is equipped with surveillance cameras and the businessman said he is willing to share the footage with lawmen if they find it necessary.
Over at Louisa Row and Princes Street, residents said that they only became aware of Branche’s body being found on Louisa Row, opposite Mayor and City Council’s building and maintenance office.
However, staff present when this newspaper visited yesterday said the area is not secure and does not have any form of lighting.