Missing cop found dead in Eccles canal
-appeared to have been badly beaten

Raymond Major

The body of Raymond Major, a police constable who was missing since Saturday, was yesterday found in a canal in Eccles, East Bank Demerara.

Major's body was identified by his brother. The discovery ended three days of searching for the missing policeman and brought deep grief to his family.

Major, 21, of Hadfield Street, Lodge had gone missing on Saturday night and his relatives were adamant that he was abducted. His car was found on Sunday morning abandoned in a cemetery at Little Diamond, EBD and two men who were caught stealing parts from it were picked up by police and taken into custody. Both men along with Major's car were up to yesterday still in police custody.

Meanwhile, a security guard stationed close to where the body was found told this newspaper yesterday that it was not there on Monday and appeared to have floated from one side of the canal to where it was discovered.

The security guard said he was in his guard hut around 7 am when he smelt the decomposing body, which was stuck under a tree growing in the canal. He alerted the police who arrived within minutes and when they pulled the body out of the canal, they found Major's identification card tucked in a pocket. From all indications, the guard said, Major was beaten to death and his neck appeared to have been broken. The partly decomposed corpse had already swollen. The guard said there appeared to be no bullet wounds.

A resident of Eccles pointing to the spot where the body of Police Constable, Raymond Major (inset) was found yesterday in this canal. (Photo by Jules Gibson)

Major's brother, Rajendra said he was on hand to witness his brother's body hauled out of the canal. Rajendra confirmed also that there were no bullet wounds on the body, but there appeared to be marks of violence.

Rajendra said Major was clad in a white sleeveless t-shirt and blue jeans.

Rajendra said his brother joined the Guyana Police Force as an apprentice in the band corps unit. He added that his brother had no problem with anyone at the time of his death. He described him as very peaceful and quiet. He leaves to mourn his mother Barbara Davi and three other siblings.

Meanwhile, Police Public Relations Officer, Assistant Superintendent John Sauers, said the police are continuing their investigations.

Relatives confirmed that the front seat of Major's vehicle was stained with spots of blood when it was discovered. Rajendra said the men who were caught stealing parts from it ripped out the CD deck, speakers, lights and mirrors. Stabroek News was told that the men disclaimed any knowledge of Major's death, but admitted that they stole parts from the vehicle after they saw it abandoned.

On Monday afternoon the policeman's family had received a call from a relative in Barbados, who told them that he had spoken to Major around 10 pm on Saturday. According to the relative, Major told him he was in Herstelling, East Bank Demerara, the same village where the two suspects reside.

That was the last contact made with Major whose cellular phone, according to Davi continued to ring out when she called. Davi was adamant on Monday that whoever was responsible for her son's disappearance must have had good knowledge about his movements. Stabroek News was told that a businessman and the policeman's relatives are in court over a dispute. Major had left his home on Saturday afternoon to take his girlfriend to the Georgetown Ferry Stelling for her to catch a boat. He returned subsequently to the area but did not enter the yard.

Relatives said they only knew of Major's disappearance early Sunday morning when his girlfriend called to speak with him.

Stabroek News was told that after dropping off his girlfriend, Major had escorted a few of his friends to their homes in Lodge, but was reportedly seen around 9 pm on Saturday, heading towards his home. Major became the twenty-fourth policeman to die under violent circumstances over the last few years. Twenty-one policemen died between April 2002 to March 1 this year during a crime wave that followed the February 23, 2002 jail break. Ramnarine Latchana and senior Superintendent, Richard Griffith died on March 1 when they were shot in the Brickdam Police Station.