‘We don’t want the police to rush the investigation and charge the wrong people’

-murdered teacher’s family remains hopeful of justice

While the police force remains silent on the investigation into the murder of school teacher Kescia Branche, her father said that the family can only remain patient and hopeful that one day justice will prevail and his daughter’s killer/s will be apprehended.

“We don’t want the police to rush the investigation and charge the wrong people because when they do go in front the court, they will be found not guilty. We rather give them time to gather sufficient evidence so that whoever they intend to charge would be found guilty and justice will be served,” Alfred Branche told Stabroek News yesterday.

He said that he has been advised that samples were taken from Kescia’s remains for DNA testing but he has not been updated about the status.

Kescia Branche

When this newspaper contacted Acting Commissioner of Police David Ramnarine to enquire whether samples were taken from Branche or the men who were held for questioning, he referred the questions to the acting Crime Chief Paul Williams.

Several calls made to Williams’ phone went unanswered.

Last week Monday, Williams had voiced his confidence that the force would solve the crime, while noting that it had been getting a lot of public support.

Alfred Branche yesterday said that at this point in time, all the family can do is remain hopeful. “We can only exercise patience and tolerance as the police are asking us to do. Hopefully our patience won’t go in vain,” he said.

When asked about the investigation, the man explained that based on what he was told, the suspects were released from custody due to the expiration of the maximum period in which they could be held without charge. “They had them for two 72 hours and both expired… during that time, the police unfortunately was unable to acquire sufficient evidence to charge anyone,” he said.

He said that hopefully the police will find the necessary evidence to charge the perpetrator/s and the probe will be concluded.

“Even animals don’t behave like this,” Alfred Branche said as he noted that while his family awaits justice, whoever is responsible for his daughter’s death remains free.

Branche, 22, a mother of one and a teacher at Richard Ishmael Secondary School, was found on November 5th along Cemetery Road, obliquely opposite the cemetery office, sometime around 5 am. She succumbed to her injuries on November 7th in the Intensive Care Unit of the Georgetown Public Hospital.

A post-mortem examination revealed that she died as a result of brain haemorrhaging and blunt trauma to the brain.

Branche was seen leaving the Blue Martini nightclub on Upper Lamaha Street in Newtown on November 4 in the company of the two on-duty constables. After leaving the nightclub, the trio had ventured to a barbeque spot on Mandela Avenue.

From there, one of the constables said, she left with a taxi.

The two police constables and Branche’s ex-partner were deemed “persons of interest” in her death and were held for questioning before being released.

A man who was allegedly seen with Branche in the nightclub and another who was accused of last being in contact with her based on phone records were also detained for questioning but were also released.

A car, PMM 242, was also impounded but investigators are yet to apprehend the owner, Mathew Munroe. Munroe left the country the day after Branche’s body was discovered.

He had reportedly told the police that he had left the country to attend his niece’s 16th birthday and that he had nothing to do with Branche’s death. He is set to return to the country soon as he has indicated that he is willing to cooperate with the police in an effort to clear his name.

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