Were DNA samples taken in Kescia Branche probe?

As investigations into the killing of Kescia Branche appear to have stalled, it is unclear if investigators took  DNA samples from her or the men, including the police ranks, who were being questioned to establish if she was sexually assaulted.

Stabroek News yesterday contacted acting Crime Chief Paul Williams for clarity on the matter. However, Williams said that he would need to find out from investigating ranks and he should be contacted later.

Multiple calls made to Williams later went unanswered. Stabroek News also contacted the force’s public relations officer Jairam Ramlakhan who said he was also unable to make contact with the acting crime chief.

Branche, 22, a mother of one and a teacher at the Richard Ishmael Secondary School, was found next to a coconut tree on November 5 along Cemetery Road from Louisa Row, Georgetown, obliquely opposite the cemetery office, sometime around 5 am. Two days after, she succumbed to her injuries at the Georgetown Public Hospital’s, Intensive Care Unit.

Branche 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.

Two police ranks who were last seen with Branche on Saturday, November 4, and Branche’s ex-partner along with others were being questioned. However, they were released from police custody.

The ex-partner of Branche was on Tuesday placed on station bail while the two constables were placed on open arrest after their detention period expired.

With the probe seemingly set back, analysts say DNA evidence could be key to advancing the case.

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