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Wednesday 20 November 2019
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MURDER MYSTERY

Two men found dead in Cumuto forest

KILLED: Aleem Khan
KILLED: Aleem Khan

TWO families, living mere walking distance from each other, as well as the police remain mystified as to the reason behind the murders of two men whose bodies were found in the Cumuto forests yesterday morning. Both men sustained shotgun blasts to their heads.

Newsday was told that Aleem Khan, 50, and his long-time friend Bryan Felix, 40, left their Cumuto Main Road homes at 6 am on Saturday to begin work on building a hut on Khan’s land in the forests. They were never seen alive by their loved ones. Their bodies were found at around 7 am yesterday by a worker on the land.

Investigators suspect they may have been killed between 12 to 15 hours prior to the discovery of their bodies. The food that both men walked with to sustain them during the labour, was found near their bodies untouched.

SHOT DEAD: Bryan Felix.

|Yesterday, Felix’s relatives said that when both men did not return to their respective homes, family members from both houses reached out to each other and the police were notified. A search party was organised and yesterday morning they went into the forests looking for the two men.

Distraught relatives said while Felix was known as a limer, he would seldom stay out all night without first notifying relatives of his whereabouts. They feared the worst when on Saturday evening they got no call from him and their calls to his cellphone went unanswered.

“We kept trying to reach Bryan throughout the course of the day, but couldn’t get him. We spoke to the girl up the road and she too said that she had been trying to reach her father (Khan) but he too wasn’t answering his phone. That’s when we went to the police,” a relative of Felix said.

“The police told us that it was too dark and they would search for them the following morning. The following day we heard from one of the men who does landscaping that he found both bodies. The entire village went out when they heard, to see for themselves because they couldn’t believe it was true.”

Relatives said that Felix worked as a lumberjack and as such they were never fearful of him venturing into the forest as he spent most of his life working in that environment. They described him as a friendly, lively person who was well known in the village. They said that he and Khan were friends for many years.

“He didn’t have any problems or disputes with anyone which is what makes all of this so strange. Why would they want to kill these two men? Bryan was a loving man who cared about his family,” the relative said.

Khan’s family members said that his murder added fresh grief to their lives as they are yet to get over the death two months ago, of his mother.

Describing Khan as a quiet, reclusive person, relatives said the only thing they could think of in terms of a motive was that someone wanted him out of the way for his land which is five acres in size. Checks with the police also turned up nothing in terms of clear-cut motive.

“I didn’t like him going on (the land) to be honest, I thought it was dangerous, but he would go there to help cultivate and develop it whenever he had some free time.

“It was also his way of coping with the grief over the loss of our mother,” a sister said, asking that she not be named.

“I don’t really know what to say again. I don’t know why anyone would want to do something like this to him,” the woman said. Relatives said that two men who stay on Khan’s land as watchmen reported hearing no gunfire on Saturday, adding further to the mystery. Up to press time, no arrest was made. Autopsies are expected to be done today at the Forensic Science Centre in St James.

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