BURIED IN FOREST
By NALINEE SEELAL and DARCEL CHOY Thursday, October 24 2013
A BELMONT family’s worst nightmare became cold reality when the body of their loved one, teenager Reno David was found by police in a shallow grave in the forest off Bogoville near to Maracas Bay. Reno went missing last Friday after he left home for a river lime with a group of other teenagers in the Maracas Bay area.
When Reno failed to return home at his aunt’s house in Maracas, his worried mother Christine David called his cellular phone several times but got no answer. David called her daughter Christina who said the last time she spoke to her brother was last week Friday when she asked him to come to the family’s Belmont home on Saturday to celebrate her 23rd birthday.
On Saturday, when Reno still could not be reached, worried relatives contacted his girlfriend Carmelia Marcano who later revealed that she too had been trying to reach him but with no success.
The worried mother, sister and girlfriend filed a Missing Person Report at the Maracas Bay Police Station where a policewoman advised to round up a search party to go look for Reno.
Relatives went to Bogoville in Maracas on Saturday and spoke to several young men who claimed hearing talk of someone being beaten to death and buried in a grave in the forest.
This information was passed on to the police. On Tuesday, a party of North Eastern Division Task Force officers led by Inspector Cornelius Samuel detained two Gonzales, Belmont boys, both aged 15.
After intense interrogation, the officers yesterday detained two other youths, both aged 16, from Maracas. During the interrogation, one of the youths, a 15-year-old told officers that Reno was lured to a forested area last Friday where he was bound, gagged, savagely beaten and then chopped. A shallow grave was quickly dug and Reno’s still warm body was rolled into the grave. One of the suspects told police that Reno may have still been breathing when he was dumped in the grave and buried.
Officers, during the interrogation, learnt that the reason Reno was murdered was to silence him after he witnessed the four teenaged suspects stab another person. The four became incensed when Reno confided to Bogoville residents about the stabbing incident. Reno was threatened with death if he kept talking.
Yesterday, one of the teenaged suspects, his face covered in a ski-mask, led officers to the shallow grave off Borro Road not too far from the popular Maracas Bay. When officers started to dig, a putrid smell of rotting flesh pervaded the forest air as officers found Reno’s decomposing corpse.
For his mother Christine, it was a tragic end to her search for her son. Overcome with grief, she sank to the forest floor and wept.
“That is not my son in there! That is not my son there, that is somebody else!” Christine shrieked as she was hugged tightly by her daughter Christina who is also called Renuka. “No mammy, we haven’t seen the face as yet,” Christina said as she stroked her mother’s hair.
“I know deep down in my heart, that is not my child...that is somebody else and I know that he is alive somewhere,” Christine told Newsday. Even as officers dug carefully around the corpse to get it out of the grave, Christine insisted it was not her son. Christina later fainted as the body of her brother was pulled loose from the dirt the teenager.
The murdered teen’s father Andy Daniel David told Newsday that his son was an excellent dancer who liked to dress. He said his son worked at Richard’s Bake and Shark located opposite Maracas Bay and was saving his money to purchase a cell-phone for his girlfriend Carmelia Marcano, for Christmas.
“He was a good son and I don’t know how somebody could end another person’s life in cold blood and then live a normal life,” he said. Marcano, who was also at the crime scene yesterday collapsed when she saw the body taken out of the grave. Marcano later glanced at the screen saver image of Reno on her cellular phone. Through her sobs she said Reno had forever left an impression on her heart and he would always remain in her mind.
His father pointed out that his son was not involved in any criminal activity and had complained of harassment by Bogoville teenagers after he refused to join them in illicit activities.
A positive identification was made when relatives were shown the tattoo of a flower on Reno’s left arm.
Screams of grief rent the air as Christine, Christina and Marcano all realised that the body was indeed that of Reno.
Police sources told Newsday the four teenaged suspects lured Reno to the forest in Bogoville last Friday under the pretense that it would be a river lime. He was attacked, overpowered, bound, gagged and then beaten and chopped until he died. He was then buried in the shallow grave.
The body was later removed to the Forensic Science Centre St James where an autopsy will be done today.
Reno’s murder is the 317th for this year. Investigations are continuing.