Grandson, wife released on bail as cops continue probing pensioner’s disappearance

-body to be exhumed from burial ground for DNA testing

Percival Johnson

The two relatives who were arrested on Wednesday in connection with the disappearance of a missing 75-year-old Rose Hall Town, Corentyne man, were each released on substantial bail yesterday even as the police have said they will continue to investigate the two-year-old case.

According to a police source, the two persons, who are a grandson of the missing Percival Johnson and his wife, have told investigators that they played no part and have no knowledge about the man’s disappearance. However, they reportedly admitted to investigators that they took a quantity of money from his room one week after he went missing.

Commander of ‘B’ Division Lyndon Alves yesterday told Sunday Stabroek that investigators have received information that a body matching the missing man’s description was buried back in 2015 in the Hampshire Burial Ground. He noted that investigators are hoping to pinpoint the exact location and exhume the body early this week in order to have the necessary DNA testing done to verify whether it is indeed Johnson.

Johnson, also known as ‘Percy,’ of Lot 36 B Sir David Street, Rose Hall Town, Corentyne, went missing on April 13th, 2015.

Last Wednesday, police took the missing man’s grandson and his grandson’s wife into custody based on a report from another relative.

Another grandson, Terry Roopnarine, 26, had told Stabroek News that his brother, who was in custody, resided with his wife in the lower flat of his grandfather’s house, while his grandfather had resided in the upper flat. “Me grandfather take care of he but when he get big and, so, me grandfather use to ask he to pay bill and so he don’t want help the man and so,” Roopnarine had said.

Roopnarine, who now occupies Johnson’s former quarters in the upper flat of the house, had also said that his brother told him several different stories in relation to the man’s disappearance. “One time he say the man ride, gone New Amsterdam and never come back. One time he say the man gone backdam to look after cattle and me know me grandfather don’t mind cattle. Another time he say me grandfather go market and never come back,” he explained.

Roopnarine, who is an Albion Estate cane harvester, had said after taking up residence in the house he discovered that his brother had some $900,000 at home, which instantly made him suspicious. “I ask he wife and she say she husband save the money, then one next time she tell me that them find it in me grandfather room one week after he missing,” he added.

Roopnarine, who noted that his grandfather’s jewellery is also missing, related that he had also noticed that his brother, who is also a cane harvester like him, started to spend lavishly. His brother, he related, would hire a special driver to take him to run errands and purchased expensive musical equipment, which seemed odd.

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