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MURDER AT HOUSE OF GOD

NALINEE SEELAL Saturday, August 12 2017

click on pic to zoom in

A SCHOOLBOY who was sent by his mother to sell vegetables in front of the Bethel ‘The House of God’ church in Freeport on Thursday, was found yesterday morning floating in a ravine at the back of the church. Police believe he was bludgeoned to death but will await the findings of an autopsy scheduled for next Monday.

Through her tears, Abia Williams, 30, told Newsday that she sent her son Emmanuel Okera to sell the vegetables at the front of the church located in Calcutta No. 2, Freeport.

When she tried contacting him via his cellphone at 3.17 pm, Williams got no answer. At 4.30 pm on Thursday, Williams and a member of the church went in search of the boy but he could not be located.

Williams then contacted the Couva police and told officers that Okera left their Seereeram Trace, Calcutta No. 2 home to sell vegetables at the church as he was accustomed doing. Officers visited the church on Thursday night and saw bloodstains on the ground outside the church. But still, there was no sign of Okera.

Yesterday morning, his body was found in the ravine at the back of the church. The area was cordoned off and Okera’s body was later fished out of the ravine.

Police sources said injuries to his face suggests he may have been beaten before being thrown into the water. The body was taken to the Forensic Science Centre in St James where an autopsy will be done.

Sources said that since Williams is a member of the church, she and her son were allowed to sell their vegetables on the church’s compound, to make ends meet.

Shocked residents who heard of the boy’s death yesterday said he was always respectful when dealing with people who came to purchase his vegetables. Like his mother, Okera was also a regular member of the church.

“This is unbelievable. Imagine attacking this little boy by a church. He was trying to earn a few dollars to help his family and now his life has been snuffed.

What is this country really coming to,” a resident asked. Police sources said they hope the autopsy will also shed light on whether or not the boy was sexually abused.

The victim’s mother was not at the crime scene yesterday but spoke to investigators at her home.

Okera’s murder pushed the toll to 294 for the year thus far. No arrest has been made and investigations are ongoing.

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