Family members held in Rainella Benfield murder probe

Rainella Benfield

As the probe into the murder of Rainella Benfield, the teenage girl who was found in the Triumph, East Coast Demerara cemetery last December widens, the police on Saturday arrested three persons including her parents.

Contacted for an update on the matter yesterday afternoon, Commander of ‘C’ Division Edmond Cooper confirmed the arrest of the trio.

Apart from her parents, Cooper said Benfield’s sister was also in custody.

He said that the trio was arrested “based on information received by senior police officials”.

They remained in custody up to yesterday afternoon, as the investigation continues.

The lifeless body of Rainella, 17, of Lot 99 Canterbury Walk, Beterverwagting (BV), East Coast Demerara, was discovered in the cemetery at Triumph on December 11th, 2017.

At the time, her 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 that Rainella, who was a telephone operator at Qualfon’s Goedverwagting call centre, 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 sunburns, the autopsy revealed.

The dead teen father, Rainsford Benfield had previously told Stabroek News that he is not satisfied with the pace of the investigation, which he had hoped would have been able to ensure justice for his daughter.

Rainsford had also related that he visited Crime Chief Paul Williams during last month to enquire about the investigation into the death of his daughter and he was told that the investigation is ongoing.

“They seh they getting difficulty with information. Nobody ain’t coming forward,” he had said.

Meanwhile, Crime Chief Paul Williams had previously told reporters that the investigation is still open. “Not because I am not saying anything on the matter means that we are not doing anything,” Williams had said, while adding that the case was still being pursuing by investigators.

Williams had also related that the major difficulties the police have been faced with in the case is corroborative evidence and he pleaded with members of the public for their continuous support.

In addition, he had noted that some “insensitive reporting” by the media on the case also partly affected the probe.

Rainsford had also expressed his belief that his daughter was killed due to some issue in a Facebook group of which she was a member. This information, he said, was passed onto the police but they have since made no headway either. “It appears that the gang that we suspect; the LCC [Facebook] group that she was in, you aint getting no information from them,” he said.

“….The way how she was murdered, the manner in which she was killed, something was definitely wrong,” Rainsford added, while noting that the fact that the perpetrator/s went to the extent of destroying his daughter’s face means that the motive was        personal.

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