….Two years after, police yet to give answers on daughter’s murder case
Two years on, the family of the late Schenise Apple, the 26-year-old nurse who was found hanging in a nurses’ hostel in Mahdia, continues to mourn without answers about her killer/killers and what progress the investigation has made thus far. In an interview with INFO 10, Apple’s mother, Shonnette Apple, donned her daughter’s memorial jersey and fought to hold back the tears, as she expressed her dissatisfaction with the way the Guyana Police Force has been handling her daughter’s case.
It was around 18:00 hrs. on July 2nd, 2019, when Shonnette received the terrible news, that her daughter was dead and says she has not healed from the wound as yet, more so, that justice has not been served. Initially, it was suspected that Schenise had committed suicide, but after a post-mortem examination, the young woman’s death was ruled as a homicide. Even the process of the post-mortem, Shonnette said, was not done professionally as the family was not able to witness it. “When me and her father went to witness the post-mortem, they couldn’t do it the same day because the girl that was to do it, said she is a junior pathologist and she has to wait until the senior pathologist does it, in case he has to testify in court. “She said that because of the bruises that were on her skin. Her neck was like raw flesh, her hands were scraped UP, as if my daughter and someone had a struggle and between her legs were very messed up,” the grieving mother said. She related that they journeyed the Friday to witness the post-mortem again and before even going into the room, a police officer came out and showed Schenise’s parents photos of the autopsy and said it was already completed. “Her father asked what is this and the police officer said this is your daughter and the father asked how come you took out pictures of my daughter on your personal phone? The photos were nothing like the ones we took out when we went to identify her body. On her hands were fresh cuts, and we asked how come these cuts are there, but they didn’t know we had already taken out photos,” Shonnette related. According to the PM, Schenise died from strangulation due to compression to the neck.
Going back, she said from the inception, the main suspect was not apprehended and she alleged it is because he is a police officer as well. She said the main suspect is known to the family and who was harassing her daughter mere days before she died. “I was in New York but we would still talk often, I only returned the day before she died. She told me that this man would be harassing her and the man kept telling her that he knows her….the man told her that anyone that comes to Mahdia, whether it be nurse or teacher, does got to fling it up to him and he got to get what he wants,” the mother said.
Another berserk incident the mother alleged, was that a colleague of Schenise was using her phone, even after she was dead, to text family members as if it was Schenise herself. “She kept sending emojis to family members, posting statuses and even texted her boyfriend and tell him I love you and my daughter was already dead, so my thing is, how she even got the phone when it should have been with the police and why did the individual not wait on the officials to bring her out, but the next morning around 04:00hrs, you were out on the first bus,” the mother questioned. “If you know something, please say something, I need closure.”
Shonnette said the last engagement she had with the police at the Criminal Investigation Department (CID), was July 1st 2020 and it was an engagement she pursued. “All they keep telling me is the investigation is active, you got to be calling them. It is disgusting, tiresome, I need closure, say something to me, that is all I need. The police knows exactly who did it and every body silent. The system has failed us, there is no justice for the just” the grieving mother expressed.
In addition to information on the investigation, the mother said that Schenise’s family cannot benefit from her insurance money because the police failed to send a correspondence to the insurance company on the PM findings, though the company wrote to the CID in 2019 and 2020, requesting the information to process the life insurance.
The mother is also disappointed in the way the Ministry of Health dealt with her daughter’s case though she was on official duty when she died. “It was a requirement for my daughter to go the Mahdia after training, they sent her there and up to a day like today, no body from the hospital, no one called me to say anything, nothing was contributed for her funeral and even to her last salary she did not collect, even to her last salary they robbed her,” the mother said.
She is calling on government agencies with oversight over public servants who are posted to interior locations to serve, to ensure proper security, accommodation and protection are provided, for particularly young women. She is also calling on the Guyana Police Force to treat her daughter’s case with some level of alacrity.