Guyana police charge woman and her lover in death of teen daughter found stuffed in suitcase

Friday, October 8, 2010

Guyana police charge mother, lover in girl’s death

GEORGETOWN, Guyana — Police charged a woman and her lover with murder Friday, five days after finding the body of the woman’s 16-year-old daughter stuffed in a suitcase in a shallow creek.

Bibi Sharmina Gopaul and Jarvis Small were not required to enter pleas and did not speak when they appeared in court on a first-degree murder charge each. It was unclear whether they had an attorney.

Police have not provided a motive in the killing.

Authorities initially said the teen was beheaded, but the girl’s grandfather told local media that she had been severely beaten in the head.

The charges came as Social Services Minister Priya Manickchand ordered an investigation to determine whether social workers followed up on the teen’s allegations of abuse.

“We have to know exactly where the system erred, why it erred, and what we need to do … to prevent these breaches from ever happening again,” she said in a statement.

The investigaiton also will determine if officials at the girl’s high school alerted anyone after observing what seemed to be marks of violence on her body, Manickchand said.

The teenger was reported missing Sept. 24. Police found her body Oct. 3 inside a suitcase that had been weighted down with dumbbells and tossed in a creek in the capital of Georgetown.

will not be displayed