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Aug 25, 2014

Remains of Missing Man Discovered in Shallow Grave

Denvo Banner

The peace and quiet of a sunny afternoon in the small village of Lemonal was shattered by the gruesome discovery of a body in a shallow grave, just behind the community school. It wasn’t a random discovery, but the result of a search for missing villager, twenty-seven year old Denvo Banner. The young man, an avid cricketer, had been last seen at the Lemonal Community Center on August ninth, as he celebrated a victory with the cricket team. His family came to our studios to make a public appeal seeking information on his whereabouts last Tuesday, but on Saturday, the remains were identified as that of Banner, and his family’s worst fears were realized. Our News Five team was in Lemonal this weekend and Mike Rudon has the story.


Mike Rudon, Reporting

Police officers, family members and a special BDF unit discovered the body of twenty-seven year old Denvo Banner buried in this shallow grave a few hundred feet behind the community school. The young man had been missing since August ninth. On that day he was here, at the community centre, celebrating a cricket championship with his team. That was the last time he was seen alive. His family had given up hope that he was alive, and was searching for the body of their loved one.


Arlene Banner, Sister of Deceased

“We just decided to take a day out as a family to search for the body, and we knew that it had to be in Lemonal. Definitely it didn’t come out. And that’s why we got ready that Saturday and we went out that way. Before we got into Lemonal on the road we started, then when we reached there, then we started through the pine ridge. Coming back out the pine ridge there was a last road before the school. That’s when we decided to go there. Some went on the left hand side; some went on the right hand side. And the ones who went on the left hand side are the ones, who smelled something funny in the area, and they put in a stick or something in the ground and when they pulled it out the scent came up higher.”


The Police dug at that spot and discovered the partially decomposed body of a man. Because of the state of the body, a post mortem examination was scheduled for Saturday night on the site. Family members and residents from the small community stood nearby, waiting for confirmation. A positive identification was made. The six foot four Banner had been murdered and crammed into this small, shallow grave.


Arlene Banner

Voice of: Resident

“I end up gawn back again, and when I gawn back again I see dey done deh start to dig ah up back from di ground, but den weh part I see ah I see ah inna wah crouching position like dey stuff ah inna di spot fu mek he fit inna di spot because the hole is very small right…then I come back out. So when I gawn back again now dey done dig off e waist down to e foot…e have on e long blue jeans pants and den e still have on e sneakers pon ih foot.”



“You mi see any signs of injury like wah gunshot or knife or stab or anything?”


Voice of: Resident

“No we noh see nothing pon a because whole a he mi have on lone mud…whole ah he da lone mud. I see di belly but di belly neva have on no gunshot or no hole or no cut or nothing…the belly was right there and den the belly not even mi swell fu buss yet.”


Frederick Gordon Sr.

Insp. Frederick Gordon Sr., Rural Executive Officer

“The post-mortem was conducted sometimes between seven-thirty and nine thirty Saturday night where the body was positively identified by a relative of the person. The post-mortem was conducted and at the conclusion of the post-mortem it was noted that the person appeared to have gunshot wounds to the head.”


Police have launched an intensive investigation into the murder. They believe that the young man, known as ‘String’ knew his killer or killers. The family is grieving, but says for them this is it. There will be no hunt for an elusive justice on their part.


Arlene Banner

“This is what I believe…justice for what? Because he’s dead? Yes it’s hurt us that he’s dead, but who are we going to look for? What kind of evidence can we find? If we wanted evidence it would have been right there by the grave site. There wasn’t anything but a body. So who are we going to look for? Nobody,..because we don’t know what happened. We didn’t see anything. We weren’t there.”


Twenty-seven year old Denvo “Strings” Banner was laid to rest by his family members at around midnight on Saturday.


Arlene Banner

“For us, I think that was the best part for us. Yes it hurt to know that he was dead but it’s a closure for us because we can say yes that’s his body, that’s him. And we can lay him to rest. We don’t have to wonder anymore where he is, if he is alive or dead. We know that he is dead for sure now, and he is at rest beside my mom.”


Mike Rudon for News Five.


Police had been dispatched to the area on Tuesday after a foul smell was reported. They discovered the decomposing body of a cow. There is some speculation that the killer or killers of Banner shot a cow to mask the smell which could have led Police to the body of Banner sooner. 

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