By CECILY ASSON Friday, February 22 2013
Killers left a man’s head on a concrete table at a bar for all to see in La Romanie yesterday.
Horror over this gruesome discovery intensified with the news that a 70-year-old woman had been beaten to death in her home at Palmiste. Then, hours later, the brother of a cop was gunned down in St Joseph.
The three murders are the latest in a killing spree in which ten people brutally lost their lives between Monday and yesterday. Adding those slain between last Friday and Sunday, Newsday figures show 17 people were murdered in seven days, with a total of 69 between January to date. And records show that this tally has surpassed the total at the end of February 2012 which was 61.
The brazen public display of the severed dread-locked head of Learie Ceballo on a concrete table in the smoking area of Step Restaurant and Bar, Rambert Village, La Romaine, as adults went to work and children to school yesterday, reminded many of another infamous beheading, that of Thackoor Boodram, whose head was found in a whiskey box at the Caroni cremation site in 1997.
Ceballo, 33, of Papourie Road, La Romaine was reported to have been released from prison last Friday.
At about 6 am, a doubles vendor found Ceballo’s head on the very table from where he sold the delicacy, a breakfast staple to his customers on their way to work.
Some people tried to get close to see if the head was that of someone they knew.
A woman driver, stuck in the early morning traffic, almost fainted when told about the head on the table and had to have someone drive her back home.
Police believe Ceballo was decapitated and his killers placed his head on the table sometime between Wednesday night and the early hours of yesterday morning. His body was found hours later in an abandoned canefield. A senior officer described the murder, “as the worst ever in San Fernando.”
A high-level team of officers, among them Snr Supt Cecil Santana, Snr Supt David Lewis, ASP Zamsheed Mohammed, Sgt Terry Tambie Acting Sgt Rebeiro, including investigators from the Southern Division Task Force, Southern Homicide Bureau, Crime Scene Unit, arrived at the bar as investigations began.
A relative identified the head as that of Ceballo. It was later viewed by the District Medical Officer who had it removed to the Forensic Science Centre, St James. Before this was done, two crime scene officers photographed the head from different angles, before an undertaker was allowed to carefully pick up the head and place it in a body bag.
Then, a search began for his body which was recovered a mile away at an abandoned canefield, off Dumfries Road, La Romaine.
The killers had wrapped the bloodied corpse in a blue and white bed sheet and wrapped it again in transparent plastic. The hands and feet were tied, police said.
At about 11.15 am, undertakers under the watchful eyes of crime scene officers removed the body from the lonely area and placed it in a bright yellow panel van to take it to the Forensic Science Centre. Two female relatives, said to be Ceballo’s sisters, accompanied them.
Ceballo, Newsday was told, was well known to police and was described as a “pest”. A senior police officer confirmed the unemployed man had spent most of his life in and out of prison serving time for various criminal offences including robbery with violence.
When Newsday attempted to speak to family members they declined to be interviewed.
A female relative said, “I have no comment to make on the situation.”
Sgt Flaveney of the Southern Homicide Bureau is investigating
The bar remained closed yesterday.