Woman killed, buried in shallow grave

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Mrs. Zaila Sugrim was killed and buried in a shallow grave

…ex-husband leads cops to scene, allegedly confesses to crime

RYAN Sugrim of Crane, West Coast Demerara is being prepared for court where he is expected to be charged with the capital offence of murder, for allegedly killing his ex-wife, then burying her body in a shallow grave.

Murder-accused Ryan Sugrim

The man was detained on Monday after his ex-wife, 37-year-old Zaila Sugrim, went missing. On Tuesday he led police to the shallow grave just next door to his home and business place where he had buried the woman on Saturday night after allegedly killing her. At the scene of the crime, relatives told the media that the man has been very abusive to the woman and had her in the house during their 15-year relationship like a prisoner.

They said that she managed to summon the courage a few times to leave the relationship, but would always return although her relatives advised against it. Police sources said that woman’s remains were badly disfigured. By late Tuesday afternoon, the stench which emanated from the shallow grave ‘lit-up’ the neighbourhood. The remains were buried in a plot of land next to the gas station which the man operated. That plot of land can be accessed from the gas station’s property.

West Demerara residents await news of the discovery

The children told detectives that they suspected that their father had buried something there as he cautioned them on Saturday night not venture into that part of the property. This was shared with the police on Monday night, but given the time that they received the information, they could not act. However, on Tuesday, as soon as they were able to gather the necessary resources, they moved to the location with the man’s guidance where the remains were found. Within seconds of the discovery, the area was filled with spectators who slowed as they passed on the public road even as some stopped.

Divisional Commander, Edmond Cooper, who was also on the ground, spoke with the press. According to Cooper, the police acted on information and a report of a missing person which was lodged at the Diamond Police Station. The details were forwarded to the police in West Demerara and they activated the necessary procedures which saw the man being arrested and questioned. On the issue of being able to secure the remains at such an early stage of the investigation, the commander said that the police acted on every single lead which they received.

Members of the police forensic team on the scene of the crime

It was also at the scene that the police forensic team was seen combing the area and the property for other clues. The Guyana Police Force, over the last few years, has been receiving advanced training overseas in crime scene management, protection and preserving the crime scene, among others.

Earlier on Tuesday, before the remains were found, one of the woman’s sisters told the Guyana Chronicle that Sugrim has been staying with her after she removed from the man’s abusive home, leaving the children behind with him. However, on Saturday, she left to meet with the man who was expected to take her to his home where the children were, as one of the children was celebrating his birth anniversary. However, it was later revealed that the man never arrived at the home with the woman, neither was she heard from or seen since. Calls to her mobile phone were also going unanswered as the phone was said to be off.

Police ranks comb the crime scene for other clues

The woman’s sister explained that she warned her sister not to go with or at the man’s place, but her sister, Zaila, assured them that he was not going to do her anything, since the children would be around.