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.


Charlestown shop owner shot during altercation

The police say they are investigating a shooting incident which occurred about 11:20 am today at Leopold and Breda streets, Charlestown during which shop owner, Jacqueline Lagnah, 55, of 83 Leopold and Breda streets, sustained two suspected gunshot injuries to her lower back.

Wave of looting shutters stores, spreads fear in Venezuela

CARACAS/SAN CRISTOBAL, Venezuela,  (Reuters) – A wave of looting by hungry mobs across Venezuela has left streets of shuttered shops in provincial towns and pushed some store owners to arm themselves with guns and machetes, stirring fear that the turmoil could spread to the capital Caracas.

NY man gets 41 years for killing Guyanese girl

Taariq Stephens (New York Daily News photo) A Brooklyn man got a 41-year maximum prison sentence yesterday for killing a 16-year-old Guyanese girl who authorities said rejected his advances.

Debutant Ngidi leads South Africa to series victory v India

PRETORIA,  (Reuters) – Debutant Lungi Ngidi took six wickets as South Africa defeated India by 135 runs to claim victory in the second test in Pretoria today and also win the series with an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match contest.

T&T judge grants injunction stopping highway project

(Trinidad Guardian) Environmental activist group Fishermen and Friends of the Sea (FFOS) has obtained an interim injunction barring the Government from continuing work on the first phase of the $400M Churchill Roosevelt Highway Extension to Manzanilla.

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