Police yet to crack reopened cold cases

first_imgAlmost one year after several cold cases were reopened by the Guyana Police Force (GPF), investigators are yet to solve any of them, even as plans to establish a special unit to probe such cases seem to be frozen.Nevertheless, Head of the Criminal Investigation Department (CID), Wendell Blanhum has stated that the investigations into those cases were active. In fact, he told reporters on Wednesday that investigators were constantly working on those cold cases, but, at the same time, they were tasked with current investigations and so their attention was divided between the two sets of cases.Crime Chief Wendell Blanhum“So, we have to prioritise those (current) cases so we are dealing with the cases that we had for 2016 and also 2017. (But) we are doing some work with cases that would have occurred five years ago, 10 years ago or as in the case of Monica Reece, [more than ] 20 years ago,” he stated.Speaking on the progress of investigations of the Monica Reece case, Blanhum disclosed that investigators have since questioned several persons and re-interviewed some of the witnesses. However, he opted not to divulge much more details since the cases were still active.On Good Friday back in April 1993, the body of Monica Reece was thrown out of a speeding vehicle on Main Street, Georgetown.A suspect was detained and interrogated by ranks shortly afterwards, but was later released because of the lack of evidence. His vehicle, a 4×4 – which was described by witnesses as being the vehicle Recce’s body was dumped from – was also returned to him.The Monica Reece case remains unsolved, and suspects continue to be released.The case is among three unsolved high-profile killings that were re-opened in July last year, some two months after the Police cracked the six-year-old murder case of Babita Sarjou and subsequently charged her husband.The other two cases are the murders of popular local designer Trevor Rose and former Demerara Bank employee Sheema Mangar.Rose was shot dead in January 2014 when a lone gunman riddled the taxi that he was in with a female companion with bullets. Both the female and the taxi driver survived their gunshot wounds, but Rose was pronounced dead on arrival after being rushed to the hospital following the shooting.Meanwhile, 21-year-old Mangar was killed during the course of a robbery back in September 2010. She was waiting for a minibus to head home when a male snatched her cellphone and ran into a waiting motor car. In an attempt to retrieve her phone, Mangar reportedly ran in front of the vehicle and was dragged under it.Since the reopening of these cases nine months ago, there have not been any breakthroughs. There have since been calls, particularly from the families of these three persons, for the Police to be more proactive in the probes.In fact, Police Commissioner Seelall Persaud had disclosed during an interview with this newspaper back in 2015 that the Force would be establishing a Cold Cases Unit to investigate high-profile murder cases, which remained largely unprosecuted or unsolved.To date, there has been no news of the establishment of the unit.last_img read more