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Four years later: Father of murdered teen found in Triumph cemetery weeps for justice

It has been over four years now since Rainsford Benfield, the father of Rainella Benfield has been fighting, and with every passing day of the quest, the much-desired justice appears far from reach.


On December 11, 2017, the corpse of Rainella, 17, of Lot 99 Canterbury Walk, Beterverwagting (BV), East Coast Demerara (ECD), was discovered in a cemetery at Triumph.


Dead: Rainella Benfield

At the time, her body was face up between two tombs in the cemetery, located on the eastern side of the Beterverwagting Police Station. Her hands were on her stomach, and her pants were pulled below her hips while her face appeared to have been smashed in.


A Post Mortem Examination (PME) revealed that the teen, who was a receptionist at Qualfon Guyana, died due to crushing injuries to her face, which were inflicted by a blunt object.


The report also indicated that she was alive when the injuries were inflicted and that she was not raped. Marks on her skin were consistent with sunburns, the autopsy revealed.


The teen's father sat down with MTV News Update and expressed his frustration with the slothfulness of the police investigations. In fact, he is of the strongest conviction that foul play is afoot.


An aggrieved Rainsford stated that his daughter's demise was a massive blow to the family, and even after these years, they are still trying to come to grips with reality.


"It is very hard because of the fact that I always remember that she didn't have a simple cold when she left home…she was happy, and all of a sudden, she did not come home," the grieving father recounted.


According to the father, after his daughter did not return home, her mother contacted her boyfriend, who said, "yall try to find she and mek sure nothing en happen to her."


"Now, why would you make such a statement at that time. It says clearly that you had to know some kind of information as to what was existing," Rainsford contends.


The distraught father, his wife, and other daughter were arrested over the murder of Rainella. And according to him, "I was at a pause when the lead investigator asked me how long I know my daughter?"


The man said he was "utterly disappointed" in the team investigating his daughter's death.


"This is my personal feeling; the police are not doing enough; I am not satisfied with the way they are handling it. I personally think that if the police do due diligence, they will be able to find the killers of my daughter."


In 2020, Magistrate Alicia George commenced hearing an inquest into the teen's death. However, this was halted following the onset of the novel coronavirus on Guyana's shores.


"But I have made contact with them on several occasions to find out the status of the case, and I realized that somehow, they are not giving me all the information because they feel I am a suspect – so they are not saying certain things to me."


To this end, he urged the police to pursue a dating group, his daughter had ties with.


"My personal conviction is that somewhere along the line, the group had something to do with it. Also, her boyfriend was a part of that group," the man asserted.


Efforts to contact Crime Chief, Senior Superintendent of Police Wendell Blanhum for an update on the investigation proved futile.

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