The police were on Thursday granted additional time to detain the five men who were arrested in relation to the murder of Qualfon employee Ranella Benfield, whose body was discovered in a cemetery at Triumph, East Coast Demerara.
Stabroek News was reliably informed that the police applied to the High Court for additional time and 72 hours were granted. The extension will expire tomorrow.
Five individuals including Benfield’s boyfriend were taken into custody shortly after the discovery of her body on Monday. They reportedly provided the police with conflicting reports.
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.
An autopsy revealed that Benfield died as a result of crushing injuries to her face which were inflicted by a blunt object.
The report, also indicated that she was alive when the injuries were inflicted and that she was not raped.
Marks on Benfield’s skin were consistent with sun burns, the autopsy revealed.