Finding possible suspects in Mon Repos’ deadly blaze has become a challenge—police source

It is a little over two months and police investigators are having a hard time finding possible suspects in a fire that completely destroyed a shack at Mon Repos, East Coast Demerara (ECD) and resulted in the death of seven-year-old Shaniya Persaud.

While Fire Chief, Marlon Gentle, said that the blaze was definitely an act of arson, investigators from the Guyana Police Force said that they are having a hard time locating potential suspects. In fact, apart from the child’s parents, no one else was questioned.

The children’s mother, Samantha Gayadin said that her home did not have electricity and no candles were available to light on the night of the fire—leading investigators from the Fire Department to believe that the blaze was started by someone outside of the house.

“We have reached a dead-end in this case. There is no suspect and these people (deceased’s parents) are poor people. They don’t have a lot so it is hard to identify someone who would want to take the little that they had,” a police source said.

Guyana Standard has been informed that in the initial stage of the investigation, the police had one possible lead but that soon turned to a dead end.

“The burnt house is located next to a sea defense. On that sea defense, there was a drug block that got busted by the police a while before the fire. The owner of the drug block had however threatened to destroy the person that snitched on him so we had him down for the fire,” the source said.

According to information received, the lead eventually went dead after the deceased’s relatives indicated that the owner for the block and the parents of the little girl have shared a good relationship over the years. Also, there was no evidence to say the drug block owner caused the blaze.

Gayadin reportedly told investigators that she does not know anyone who would want to harm her family.

On August 4, last, little Persaud was sleeping in her Mon Repos home when it went up in flames at around 01:00 hr. Her two older brothers managed to escape unhurt but she was left sleeping in the burning building.

At the time of the fire, the child’s father, a fisherman, was working at sea while her mother, a domestic worker, was said to be helping out at a wedding house in the village. The little girl had told neighbours that she was sleeping when she felt a burning sensation on her feet and then saw bright flames around her.

She had said that she could not see anything but fire so she closed her eyes and walked towards the area where she knew their door was located.

Neighbours rushed her to the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation where she was hospitalized for several days until she had to be transported to the hospital in Texas where she later succumbed to her injuries.


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