A mother’s worst nightmare turned into real horror today when she identified the decomposing body of her missing son Rahim Ward in a shallow countryside grave in the shadow of St Andrew’s Parish Church.
He had been missing since last Friday night.
Following a week of restless days and sleepless nights agonising over her son’s disappearance, Barbara Dorant-Layne screamed in anguish when she saw his face.
“Oh Lord! Them kill my son. Them kill Rahim,” a grieving Dorant-Layne cried out, while being supported by friends and relatives.
Ward’s body was found around 6 a.m. in a shallow grave in rugged terrain, just west of the St Andrew Parish Church, when Police and Defence Force soldiers combed the area.
On Wednesday evening, the distraught mother told Barbados TODAY at her Cottage Grove, St George home that around 2 a.m. last Saturday police knocked on her door and informed her that there was a shooting in St Andrew and that her son was in the victim’s company. The victim was transported to the hospital, but Ward was nowhere to be found.
She said the last time she saw Ward was around 5 p.m. on Friday when he told her: “Mummy, I gone”.
Dorant-Layne had explained that she knew he was headed to his grandmother Virgene Dorant who said her grandson left her house around 9:30 that same night.
The mother of Ward’s daughter heard him around 10:30 p.m. when he sent her a message via WhatsApp inquiring about his child.
The wait to see the body of their loved one appeared to be a long and difficult one for Ward’s family and friends after being summoned by Police.
Though Ward’s body was discovered early this morning, it was not until minutes to 4 p.m. that identification was permitted as detectives scoured the crime scene for clues.
Loved ones, gathered in groups, sought shelter under the trees in the church cemetery. Some sat wherever they could find a comfortable seat, while others walked around. But an ominous look of foreboding appeared etched on their faces.
A counsellor from the police victim support unit was present to offer support and comfort during the grim vigil, remaining by Ward’s mother and grandmother’s side, as they both appeared restless.
As the day wore on, Police spokesman Acting Inspector Rodney Inniss had told reporters that Police were yet to confirm whether it was Ward who was found, since they were unable to determine the gender, age, or race of the body.
Today’s search was the third done since the disappearance of the accounts assistant at the Barbados Public Workers Cooperative Credit Union, he said.
In a poignant and heart-rending moment, Ward’s young child was seen walking through the cemetery calling for “Dada”.
Then, at the moment her grandmother’s cry rang out through the quiet countryside, the toddler burst into tears.
While at the scene, Police took a number of people into custody. No further details were immediately available on their identity or role in the investigation.
Dorant-Layne was unable to speak, but through reporters grandmother Virgene Dorant offered thanks on the family’s behalf to police officers, army soldiers and any others who were involved in the search for her grandson or gave the family support.
She said the family commended the lawmen for their hard work, especially at today’s scene.
“I am very grateful that they find the body because we got something to work on.
“We get a closure. At least it is better that they find a body than to [not] find a body and we here wondering all the time to find out where he would be at the point in time.
“We had sleepless nights, but at least we feel a lot better. We needed some kind of closure,” Dorant said. firstname.lastname@example.org