Family left in dark about member’s death – Lindo Creek COI hears

DPI, GUYANA, Thursday, March 1, 2018

The first sitting of the Lindo Creek massacre opened this morning with evidence from police ranks and family members of one of the victims, Bonny Harry.

Retired Detective, Sergeant Clensford Burnette.

He was among the group of eight miners who were allegedly killed on March 21, 2008, at a mining camp at Lindo Creek. The Commission of Inquiry, being chaired by Commissioner, Donald Trotman, heard that none of Harry’s family members were officially informed of his death. Neither were they part of the burial of his remains.

Appearing before the commission was Harry’s 85-year-old father, Winston Harry who, fighting back tears, recalled when he was first informed about his son’s possible demise. According to him, it was the wife of another victim who had asked if he had heard “what happened?”

Winston Harry said that the rumor was confirmed later in the day when he heard his son’s name [Bonny Harry] called on the news among a group of persons being “shot up” at the Lindo Creek. He said his son had been working in the area for a number of years, however, the last time he saw him was in March of 2008, when he had returned home to attend his mother’s funeral.

According to him, no one from the police had contacted him or his family about his son’s death.

Also taking the stand was the victim’s wife, Maureen Harry, who explained that her husband [Bonny Harry] was the sole breadwinner for her and the couple’s three daughters. She said she had known her husband to be working in the interior for a number of years, adding that he previously worked at the Transport and Harbour’s Department.

She said the family, a few weeks after learning of her husband’s death, had a memorial service held at the Methodist Church in Zorg, Essequibo.

Retired Detective, Sergeant Clensford Burnette took the commission through the investigative aspect of the incident, recalling that on March 21, he had travelled to the location. Upon entering the camp, Burnette said he was greeted by two camps. One he later found out was used for cooking, and the other was identified as the sleeping area.

He recalled that it was near the camp used for sleeping where he saw a pile of burnt remains packed on each other. Burnette, who said he received specialised training in Crime Scene Investigation, told the commission that he wrapped the remains in what he described as a ten by fifteen (10 x 15) tarpaulin which he used to transport the remains back to the city.

During the investigation, Burnette said he recovered a number of items, including a birth certificate belonging to Bonny Harry, a burnt passport, an identification card and some other items.

The COI into the Lindo Creek massacre continues.

Father of Bonny Harry, Winston Harry.

Wife of Bonny Harry, Maureen Harry.

 

By: Alexis Rodney

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