By Esther Durand, BVI News Staff
When Direau Ricketts got a tip from the police that there was a stench emanating from a bushy area in Horse Path, he knew he had to divert his search crew to the origin of the smell. He was, however, hoping it was not the decomposing body of his missing brother, Junior Peters.
The search party, which included Governor Augustus Jaspert and members of the Jamaican Association, had intended to go to Balsam Ghut that day.
Speaking to BVI News on Tuesday, Ricketts said authorities had previously searched the area but, this time, it was the scent that led them to make the horrifying discovery on the afternoon of July 3.
“It smelt bad. So we converged on the smell, and we started to cut the bush and when we reached about 90 to 100 feet downhill … I was hoping that the smell wouldn’t be him. I was really hoping because I really wanted to find him alive,” Ricketts told our news centre.
He said a man named Jasper, a few friends of his, and the Governor — who was said to be right behind — discovered the body.
“I couldn’t stand up, I had to sit down. A few persons took me back up the hill,” he said while recalling the moment of the discovery.
A brother, son, wife overcome with grief
But Ricketts is not the only family member hit hard by his brother’s mysterious death. When it was time to officially identify the body with police, Ricketts said Peters’ son was given the task.
The son was, however, unable to muster the strength to do it so Ricketts was asked.
“I don’t know where I got the strength from to do it, but I went and did it,” he stated, adding that while the body was in a state of decomposition, he was still able to recognize his sibling.
“He was swollen but his blue shirt, I knew his blue shirt that he always wore and his features were still there. I could remember when he was young, a bee bit him and his face was swollen just like that. It wasn’t pretty at all, it really cut me deep,” he admitted.
My brother didn’t deserve to die in that way
As it relates to the next step going forward, he said the family has not yet decided whether Peters will be cremated or buried. He said the wife of his late brother, who is living in Jamaica, is still in a deep state of mourning.
“She is distraught right now, she couldn’t talk to me yesterday when I was talking to her. The family are totally broken up to see such a nice person go like that. The way he died, he wasn’t deserving of that death,” the grieving brother stated.
In the meantime, Ricketts thanked all who assisted in the searching for his brother, noting that “where the body was, it was very difficult to see”.
Death still being investigated
Peters was last seen in the Horse Path area of Tortola Saturday, June 27, engaged in landscaping activities at a private residence.
“His tools/machines and other items were located at the house and a substance believed to be blood also seen,” a police-verified statement circulating on social media read.
The circumstances of his death are still being investigated.
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