Eighteen-year-old Ranella Benfield whose body was discovered in a cemetery at Triumph, East Coast Demerara on Monday died as a result of crushing injuries to her face which were inflicted by a blunt object.
A police source yesterday confirmed the findings with Stabroek News following a post-mortem examination which was performed by Government pathologist Dr Nehaul Singh at the Georgetown Public Hospital mortuary.
The report, according to the source also indicated that Benfield was alive when the injuries were inflicted and that she was not raped.
Marks on Benfield’s skin were consistent with sun burns, the results confirmed, the source said.
Five persons including Benfield’s boyfriend remain in custody. They were arrested shortly after the discovery after they reportedly provided the police with conflicting reports.
The police were said to be working up to late yesterday afternoon to determine the circumstances surrounding Benfield’s death.
The body of Benfield, 18, of Lot 99 Canterbury Walk, Beterverwagting, and an operator attached to Qualfon’s Goedverwagting call centre, was discovered around 8.15 am on Monday in the Triumph cemetery. Her face was disfigured.
At the time of the discovery, Benfield’s body was face up between two tombs in the cemetery, which is located on the eastern side of the Beterverwagting Police Station. Her hands were on her stomach and her pants were pulled below her hips. Her face appeared to have been smashed in.
The young woman left home on Saturday morning for work and was last seen alive around 6pm by her colleagues boarding a minibus.
After she did not return home as expected, her family assumed that she was working overtime and did not worry.
Her body was dumped a short distance from the cemetery’s entrance, which is accessible through a stretch of road that was recently reopened after some works.