SHALLOW grave victim
Parbattie Camille Seenauth
body was discovered…after neighbors tipped off police that
someone was seen burying a corpse in a shallow grave in the
yard. - Guyana Chronicle,
One day she called, and she was crying. We tried to find out
what was wrong, but she would not say...and then she hung up' -
victim's brother Seemangal
SHALLOW grave victim Parbattie Camille Seenauth, 31, (also
called 'Paro'), was yesterday buried at Le Repentir Cemetery in
Georgetown, amid a flood of emotions from close relatives gathered
at her graveside to pay their last respects and catch a final
glimpse of her badly-battered body.
Relatives said the post mortem examination performed on Monday
revealed that she died from strangulation
and sexual assault, and that there were several marks
of violence about her body. There was also evidence of bludgeoning
to the forehead.
Her body was found early last Friday morning in a shallow grave in
the yard of reputed `spiritual healer', Patricia Alves, at Second
Street, Alberttown, Georgetown.
Alves, 41, the prime suspect in the case, was still in Police
custody last night.
Deep anguish and outrage was evident in the expressions of
Seenauth's relatives as they watched her coffin being lowered into
the muddy grave yesterday. What began as a bold attempt at
rendering familiar 'parting' hymns, soon saw the parson rendering
Among the mourners were her two sisters - Vadwattie
and Deowattie, brother
Seemangal and aunt Ramrattie Hardyal, who all
travelled from the Essequibo Coast and the Pomeroon River for the
They all huddled together, trying desperately to comfort an elder
aunt, Mrs. Parbattie Lall fondly referred to as Aunt Doris, who
lives at Montrose, East Coast Demerara, and with whom Parbattie
had been living prior to moving in with Alves, the 'spiritual
healer' at the centre of the saga.
But while the physical burial was preceded by a service at the
Lyken's Funeral Home, on John Street, Newburg, the interment did
not mark the close of ceremonies at the ground. As the tears began
to subside, mourners were once again stunned by what turned out to
be the contents of a travelling bag handed over to them by the
Police, purporting to be Parbattie's 'personal belongings'.
Instead of the deceased's clothing and other things, the bag, from
which emanated intermittent wafts of objectionable scents,
contained more than two dozen candles - of various colours, sizes,
and fragrances - a dinner bell; a calabash; cosmetics; photographs
of various Hindu deities; and a quantity of 'confusion powder' and
A family friend, Pastor Deonauth of the
Zeelugt 'Faith in Jesus Ministry', East Bank Essequibo,
readily and fearlessly volunteered to dispose of the bag and its
contents by burning them at the graveside in the presence of all
While it could not have been ascertained what other personal
belongings Parbattie had with her during her stay with Alves,
relatives said that apart from the bag, the only other thing they
received from the Police was their sister's gold wedding band,
which she had on her finger when the body was exhumed from the
shallow grave in Alves' yard.
They recalled her keeping important documents in a large brown
envelope. She was also the holder of a valid passport since she
had lived in Venezuela once, they said.
Weeping, Aunt Doris, who once suffered a stroke, related that
Parbattie had spent about a year and nine months at her home in
Montrose. Comparing her then, to what she looked like at the time
of her death, relatives recalled her being on the chubby side
"...and very fashion conscious."
Aunt Doris recalled with horror the day Parbattie told her that
she had found a job and was going to become a 'live-in' domestic,
but she did not say where she was going.
"I didn't want her to go, but she promised me she would phone
me, and that she would come back to see me the next Sunday. She
left and I never saw her back nor even heard from her."
She also recalled her niece leaving the home on a Monday -
somewhere around the last week of November or the first week of
December, in 2000. Until last week when they heard of her death,
no one knew where she was, the relatives said.
Aunt Doris said she'd really liked her niece, as they both shared
the same name. She'd also tried her best to make her comfortable
and happy. During the months the young woman spent at her aunt's
home, she had indicated an interest in doing computer studies
which her aunt financed.
"She went to Global Computer School; she was bright and
passed four examinations very quickly," Aunt Doris said.
However, as she was preparing for the fifth exam, she was
seriously injured in a vehicle accident, and was hospitalised for
After seeing Alves on television recently, relatives who went to
visit Parbattie while she was in hospital, recalled seeing that
same woman at her bedside.
"She was visiting her, and now we feel that they might have
known each other for a long time," one suggested.
Meanwhile, brother, Seemangal,
had another story to tell. He said that while his sister was yet
at their aunt's at Montrose, they had heard regularly from her.
But after she left the home there was a breakdown in
Then one day his wife received a telephone call from her, and a
contact number. Thereafter, they spoke a few times on the
"But one day she called, and she was crying. We tried to find
out what was wrong, but she would not say...and then she hung
up," he said.
After that, she did not call them back, and because he and his
wife were worried, the brother said they called her a few days
later. However, the reception was not warm, and she warned them
not to call back the number.
This might have been as recent as two weeks ago, he said.
February 15 - 22, 2002