Detective’s bound body pulled from septic tank
– ex-wife arrested
By Dale Andrews
(Originally published in Guyana’s Kaieteur News on 21 January 2011)
The remains of Igris Bobb-Blackman called David, 35, were discovered on the premises of a property he had shared with his former reputed wife, 58-year-old Desiree Jeffers, shortly after midday yesterday. The gruesome discovery was made by Blackman’s brother Ptolemy, who was part of a search team that was looking for him after he went missing. The victim’s head was badly mutilated with several chop wounds, his hands and feet were bound and the body was wrapped in a coloured carpet.
While his reputed wife has denied killing him, the dead cop’s relatives are convinced that she and several other persons are responsible for his death, since he had recently taken out a protection order against her. The couple was also engaged in the High Court for the division of a $12M property they jointly owned.
This newspaper understands that Blackman had been separated from Jeffers and was living with another woman, although he still visited the disputed property. On Wednesday, last, he went to the house to collect some of his belongings and was not seen alive again.
A female friend, who last saw him alive early Wednesday morning, told the media that she had called Blackman on his cellular phone and he told her that he was at the Parfait Harmonie house with his former reputed wife.
The friend, who gave her name as Gail, said that since she knew that Blackman and Jeffers were not on speaking terms she was suspicious throughout his visit there. She called him again later that afternoon and this time he did not speak with her, but she could hear a commotion through the phone.
This further aroused her suspicions and she contacted his relatives and told them what she heard. The relatives, who also had reservations about Blackman visiting the house, travelled to the West Bank of Demerara and together with Gail they went to the house to look for Blackman.
By this time night had set in and they sought the company of two young police ranks. According to Gail, when they enquired from Jeffers if Blackman was there she replied in the negative. A search was carried out, but Gail said that was done in the dark since Jeffers indicated that there was no light in the property.
But Gail was convinced that Blackman was in the house and although she went away, she still kept a close watch on the house for at least two hours to see if something was amiss. “I suspect that he was still in the house alive at that time. If the police had searched properly, he would have been found. I didn’t sleep the whole night,” Gail said.
So convinced was she that Blackman was in the house, that she persuaded his relatives to return yesterday and resume the search. This they agreed to do, but when they arrived at the house yesterday morning, it was shut tight and Jeffers was not there.
She was subsequently contacted and ordered to report to the house by the police, which she did. Ptolemy Bobb-Blackman, the dead cop’s brother, recalled that he received a telephone call from another brother who informed him that “David was not answering his phone.”
“I call and got no answer so I called Desiree (Jeffers) and she said that she did not know where he was,” Ptolemy Blackman related to Kaieteur News.
He said that he was subsequently contacted by Gail and together they went to the Parfait Harmonie house to search for Blackman. “Because we suspect foul play, we searched the house and we did not find him. I even break open his bedroom door.”
The dead cop’s brother said that while leaving the house, he was attracted by the actions of some dogs in the yard. The dogs were making strange movements near the septic tank and they appeared to be staring directly at it as if to give them a signal.
“I opened the septic tank and saw a multi-coloured carpet. My other brother took a stick and poked the carpet. I took a hook and I pulled it and I saw two feet bound together with his boots and pants,” Ptolemy Blackman stated. All this time, Jeffers kept denying that Blackman was there, claiming that she did not know his whereabouts.
“When we called her to the septic tank, she was reluctant to come. When she did come, all she kept saying is ‘Oh my God! Oh my God, I don’t know nothing, ’” Ptolemy Blackman said. He claimed that he was then asked to leave the yard as the police then officially declared it a crime scene and took Jeffers into custody.
By then, neighbours had heard the wailing of relatives and converged outside the house, shocked to learn that such a situation had occurred in their community. But one neighbour was not too surprised.
She said that at around 02:00 hours yesterday she saw about four men and a “strapping” woman leave the house under the cover of the darkness. Her suspicions were aroused when she heard the dogs wailing uncontrollably.
“If you see how this dog (pointing at one of the animals) was behaving. If you see how he going on. He start fuh bark. Was he (Blackman) favourite dog. De dog run to de gate and butt it up,” the neighbour told Kaieteur News.
She said that she was not sure of what to make of the dog’s action at the time. “I knew I missed him (Blackman) but at the time I did not suspect that he was there,” the neighbour added.
Another of Blackman’s brothers, Brentnol, who was almost uncontrollable at the scene, laid the blame for his death squarely on Jeffers. He explained that his brother and Jeffers, who had been living together for about five years, were experiencing domestic problems which had reached as far as the court.
According to court documents, Blackman accused Jeffers of frequently threatening to kill him. He also claimed that Jeffers and her agents constantly and frequently committed acts of personal and physical violence on him. An affidavit to support Blackman’s application for a protection order stated that Jeffers frequently harassed him, both privately and publicly.
But according to Brentnol Blackman, Jeffers managed to have his brother charged for assault causing bodily harm, committed on her, for which he was interdicted as a member of the Guyana Police Force.
“She wanted him to take his name off the transport for the house but he refused, and she took him to court,” Brentnol Blackman said.
He stated that the woman, who previously resided in the USA, had returned to Guyana to ensure that she took sole possession of the property.
Brentnol Blackman told this newspaper that from all indications, the woman had intended to flee the country sometime yesterday and would have gotten off scot free if his brother’s body was not found in time.
“I called Desiree and told Desiree that she was responsible for my brother’s disappearance. She said, ‘Brenty, to God, I don’t know nothing about that.”
The family believes whoever was responsible, killed Blackman sometime early yesterday and placed his body in the septic tank with the intention of removing it later.
Investigators combed the house for clues and eventually stumbled on a pool of blood that was concealed under a sheet of vinolay. They also found a blade which they suspect might be the murder weapon.
Scores of residents, many of whom had returned home from work yesterday afternoon, gathered outside the property to catch a glimpse of Jeffers who remained in the house until she was eventually taken away by the police under the cover of darkness amidst cries of “Murderer! Murderer!” from the crowd.
Many expressed the view that Jeffers had not acted alone. Up to late last night, investigators were looking for two men who they believe could assist them in their investigations.