The man who was arrested on Saturday in relation to the murder of 85-year-old Sumintra Sawh called “Aunty Betty” has confessed to killing her.
Mohammed Ramzan Shaheed, the 47-year-old suspect called “Bhagee”, who is a neighbour of the now dead woman, had become a person of interest after murder accused 37-year-old Roshnie Basdeo also called “Mala”, a mother of three, implicated him. Basdeo allegedly told investigators that it was he who killed her great-aunt while detailing her role in the murder.
The suspect was arrested on Saturday and on Monday, exactly one week after, the pensioner’s great niece told investigators that he was hired as the “hit man”.
In his confession statement, the suspect claimed that he met Basdeo just over a week prior to the incident, who told him that she was being put out of the house she was living in at the time and she wanted to go and live in “Aunty Betty’s” house but she has to, “get rid of Aunty Betty first”.
He confessed to investigators that he agreed to take the job providing that he was going to be paid.
In his confession statement, the suspect told investigators that he instructed Basdeo to leave the door open on Sunday night.
He said that he took a couple of shots of rum on his veranda at his house and at midnight on November 28 he went over to “Aunty Betty’s” house after picking up a piece of wood from her yard.
He detailed that after entering the house, he went to the back room where Basdeo was and asked her to check to see if “Aunty Betty” was asleep and after checking, she told him “yes”.
In his shocking confession statement, the suspect claimed that he went into the pensioner’s room, took the piece of wood he was carrying and hit her four times to her head while she was asleep. Investigators were also told that the woman started to groan as she was receiving the lashes.
In the alleged confession statement, Shaheed said he then walked out of the room, threw the wood in the hallway and told Basdeo to give him the money, having completed his task but was told that she did not have the money at the time.
According to the confession statement, Shaheed then went to his home and had a few more shots of rum and then fell asleep.
He said at about 04:00h he was awoken by the loud sounds of Basdeo shouting “thief man!”
Shaheed reportedly told investigators that he immediately went and picked up his bicycle which he had left in “Aunty Betty’s” yard and fled.
He said he went to the house of a cousin on the Corentyne in Region Six (East Berbice-Corentyne) where he continued his rum consumption.
After two nights on the Corentyne and different homes and consuming alcohol, Shaheed returned to Bush Lot, where he met a friend who told him that the Police were looking for him in relation to the murder of “Aunty Betty”.
Shaheed said he was arrested by the Police shortly afterwards.
He said Basdeo did not give him any money and he became afraid when he heard that “Aunty Betty” died.
He said he did not see what Basdeo did to Sumintra Sawh after he left the house.
Shaheed also took investigators back to the scene and explained what he did. He also told investigators that he never stabbed the woman and if she had stab wounds then someone else inflected those wounds.
The post-mortem examination of Sawh’s body showed that she died from multiple injuries including suffocation, seven stab wounds to the head and face, and bleeding from a fractured skull.
Meanwhile, Basdeo had initially told investigators that Sawh had died in a robbery after two men had entered the house while she was spending the night. She reportedly initially told investigators that after the men left and she was able to untie herself, she saw her great-aunt lying motionlessly in a pool of blood on her bed.
However, she changed that story under interrogation and confessed, telling investigators that she and her aunt’s neighbour had an agreement in which he was going to kill her and take $350,000 that the aunt had in a bag in her room. Under the agreement, Basdeo was going to inherit her great-aunt’s estate.
In that story, Basdeo reportedly told investigators that the neighbour did not stick to the arrangement but took the bag, inflicted some marks on her body and threatened to kill her if she revealed what transpired.
Notwithstanding that, Basdeo while still in Police custody said that she did not tell them the truth and her dead aunt visited her in the Police lock-ups and told her to tell the truth.
In yet another confession statement, the woman allegedly told investigators that the neighbour had nothing to do with the incident and it was she who killed “Aunty Betty” after the woman found out that she had stolen her money. In that statement, she allegedly claimed to have spent the money.
Basdeo, who has been remanded, is expected to make her next court appearance on December 14.