November 30, 2022

Rape/murder of Berbice teen…Suspected child-killers likely for court today

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From Kaieteur News

– alleged mastermind is slain lad’s cousin; Divisional Commander seeks to question victims of other attacks

The two men who allegedly abducted, raped and killed 13-year-old Leonard Archibald, two Mondays ago are scheduled to appear in court today, even as Divisional Commander, Lindon Alves vows to investigate reports that the prime suspect committed similar sexual attacks on other boys.

Divisional Commander Alves stated that the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) has already given advice on the case, making way for charges to be laid against the two alleged killers.

A post mortem is also expected to be done today on the slain child’s remains.

Police have identified the prime suspect as Hilary Edwards, a fisherman from Sisters’ Village, East Bank Berbice. The slain lad’s father confirmed that Edwards is his first cousin. The suspect’s alleged accomplice was identified only as ‘Christopher.’

In relation to the reports of abduction, torture and sexual assault on other young boys in villages at East Bank, Berbice, the Commander stated that he was only made aware of the other allegations yesterday morning when he visited the family of the slain teen.

“We keep hearing that there would have been other acts perpetrated by him but where are the reports? Based on the information gathered from senior ranks, there are no reports.”

At least three of the victims said that they made reports at the Sisters’ Police Station. One lad claimed that he was told to return if he was attacked again.

Another alleged victim claimed that the parents of his attacker offered his parents money, which they accepted.

Yet a third, an 18-year-old said, told this publication that he too narrowly escaped death two years ago after he was abducted, tied up and dumped in the suspect’s fishing boat.

Kaieteur News was also told that after committing the acts, Edwards would ‘go into hiding’ for months and would return and roam freely in the village. Alves stressed that this should not have occurred.

“Whatever time he shows up, they should have acted and had him arrested to answer to the allegations”. He assured that he will be perusing the records from today and also expressed interest in speaking with the past victims and their relatives so that the investigation into the allegations can commence.

On Saturday, villagers and relatives found Leonard Archibald’s partly decomposed body on the Kortbraadt foreshore, about two miles from his home.

The remains were entangled in a clump of vines near the foreshore.

The discovery came a day after Hilary Edwards, the prime suspect, confessed to abducting and sodomising Archibald, and dumping the unconscious lad into the Berbice River.

On Friday, detectives found Archibald’s bicycle along the foreshore at Sisters’ Village, behind the suspect’s home. A bloody sheet was also found a short distance away.

The slain lad’s grief-stricken father, Walter Archibald, told Kaieteur News yesterday said that he would have been even more distraught if his son’s body had never been found.

“I feel much better now that we get a part of the body that I can bury, I feel more relieved than na fuh see nothing. It was heartrending to know that I could not find him while we were searching but I still had hopes.”

Like other villagers, Mr. Archibald felt that the prime suspect, who is his first cousin, should have been convicted a long time ago for the previous attacks, but opined that ‘the police didn’t take it serious.’

“Nobody na think it would ah get this serious, is now I seeing the community come out and step they foot on it”.

He is of the belief that if the previous attacks were acted upon when reported, his son might have been alive today.

Mr. Archibald described his son as ‘a very loving and helpful’ child.

“When he come home from school he does deh in the community always helping somebody with
something, I gon miss him dearly”, the father of ten said.

The teen had left home on his father’s birthday on Sunday to accompany his sisters to a birthday celebration, a village away. He never returned home.

Prime suspect and cousin of slain boy: Hillary Edwards
Alleged accomplice: Christopher

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