Police Commissioner appeals for public help to solve Mayaro quadruple murders

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

MURDERED: Buddy George, left, and Jeremiah George –

WITH no clear motive for the execution-style murder of four men in Mayaro on Monday, Commissioner of Police Erla Harewood-Christopher is asking the public to help solve this crime.

“We appeal to anyone who may have any information that may assist us in our investigations to call 800 Tips, 555 or the Mayaro police station,” she said in a voice note on Tuesday, in the aftermath of the brutal killings. “We have adopted a multi-agency approach to this investigation and are intent on making a breakthrough in the shortest possible time.”

Jeremiah George, 20, his brother Marcus Buddy, 37, and their father, Buddy George, 59, all of Martha Street, Couva, along with gardener Dion Keyon Mendoza, 29, were killed at an agricultural camp at Basil Trace, Bristol Village, Mayaro.

Around 12.05 am, the men, who cultivated cocoa and other crops, were awakened from their sleep by six armed men wearing police gear and who announced they were police. The four victims were made to lie face down on the ground. In the presence of two of Buddy George’s daughters and his one-year-old grandson, whom he was seeing for the first time since his birth, the men were each shot in the back of the head.

In her voice note Harewood-Christopher said, “The quadruple homicide that occurred in the quiet village of Bristol, Mayaro, is of great national concern.”

She said the incident is engaging the attention of several police units.

“This incident is yet another example of the brazen action of criminals and challenges we face in combating violent crimes on an almost daily basis.”

There have been suggestions that a land deal, conflict over a contract or attempts by gangs to extort money from the George family members –who ran a construction company and a rolling supermarket – may be contributing factors in their deaths.

A previous attempt had been made on the life of Marcus George. Saying no clear motive has yet been ascertained for the killings, Harewood-Christopher also expressed concern about reports that the assailants purported to be police officers.

“Of particular concern to us also is that the perpetrators of this incident impersonated police officers by using blue lights and police uniforms resembling that of the TTPS.” Family members told the Newsday there were constant threats against the lives of members of the George family from gangs active in the community, but reports to the Couva police failed to elicit any help or investigations. The police have promised to investigate this claim.