The Sheema Mangar murder…Guyana Police Force bungled investigation from the beginning
FEBRUARY 2, 2012 | BY KNEWS | FILED UNDER NEWS
By Dale Andrews
Lies, deceit, blame throwing are terms that characterize the case of the murdered Demerara Bank
employee, Sheema Mangar.
And investigators, being urged to forget their ultra reliance on the results of forensic tests and press on with their investigation, are admitting that they have reached a dead end and nothing can be done unless new evidence emerges.
It’s been more than a year since Mangar was dragged to her death by a car in which the man who had snatched her Blackberry phone was escaping and her mother, Radica Thakoor, has almost given up hope that local police will solve the case given the distrust she has developed.
Amidst all the misleading information she has been fed by those in authority, Thakoor is convinced that only a completely new approach where witnesses are sought, will lead to some satisfactory conclusion of all the circumstances surrounding her daughter’s death, including the identification of the killer.
Samples of what appeared to be blood and a piece of fabric found on the two cars that were impounded did not match the victim’s DNA and clothing respectively.
“The police are to be blamed. Why wait a whole year relying on just the samples?” the mother asked.
According to the woman, the police kept telling her that they were waiting on the results of tests being done on the samples, as if that was the only aspect of the investigation that was important.
“They had built my hopes up and everywhere you go they were telling you they were waiting on the samples. They appeared so positive that that would have led to something, now we are back to square one,” Thakoor added.
She said that she could not believe her eyes when she read in the papers that the tests on the samples were negative.
One detective who was handling the matter initially put it in perspective, noting that solving a crime lies with the investigators.
He explained that after Mangar’s death, police had impounded two cars which crime scene technicians examined for evidence that could connect them to the crime scene or the victim.
On one vehicle a piece of broken hair was found while on the other vehicle a piece of green fabric was recovered.
Mangar’s uniform she was wearing the day she died had a greenish tint, so investigators had to consider the possibility that the piece of fabric could have come from her uniform.
A red spot was also identified on one vehicle and was collected as a suspected blood stain.
The detective pointed out that the investigation suffered a setback in the initial stages since Sheema Mangar was not accompanied to the hospital by a police rank, “therefore if she was able to make a dying declaration, no police rank was there to record what she had to say.”
Additionally no one was present at the hospital to collect her clothing, consequently only the jacket of her uniform was collected.
“She may have been wearing under garments, but these would have been discarded along with her skirt as the medical personnel focused their efforts on saving her life. The possibility of matching the green piece of garment recovered from the car to her clothing was therefore limited to a comparison with just the jacket she was wearing,” the detective explained.
A point to consider was the fact that the police had impounded two vehicles, on which they found what appeared to be blood stain and a piece of cloth.
But now that the results of those tests have returned negative, any hope of conclusively connecting Sheema Mangar to any of the vehicles disappeared.
So why all the controversy?
First, some senior officials of the Guyana Police Force assured the victim’s family that the Barbados laboratory had promised to deliver the DNA results by January 2012. We are now in February.
Secondly, when the negative results were eventually received from the DNA profiling of the suspected bloodstains, the police informed Mangar’s relatives that their analyst who was sent to Barbados forgot to take the hair samples with him. However this newspaper was informed that the analyst had deliberately left it behind since it had no root and therefore there was no way that the Barbados laboratory could have done any conclusive test.
Then the administration had given the impression that the crime could have been solved by a laboratory test in Guyana or Barbados, when in fact this turned out not to be the case.
“Crimes are solved by investigators, and the reason why the samples were sent to Barbados was in the hope that they may prove to be similar to those taken from the crime scene or the victim’s uniform so as to breathe new life into the investigation,” the detective told Kaieteur News.
He said that, in the meantime, investigators must shoulder the responsibility for seeking out eyewitnesses who can provide an accurate description of the vehicle involved, including if possible, the registration number, and also a description of the assailant.
Interestingly, the vehicle impounded were both Toyotas but different models- one an AT 192 and the other an AT 212. This clearly suggests that investigators are not too sure what type of vehicle was involved in the crime in the first place and there is definitely need for a more precise description of the vehicle involved.
For her part, Mangar’s mother does not intend to give up since she believes that there is still someone out there who could assist the police.
“Even though she cannot come back, I hope my efforts will bring about change in the way the police do their job,” Thakoor said.