(JAMAICA GLEANER) — The relatives of Jamaica-born businessman Rasheed Edwards, whose body was found at his Wall Township home in New Jersey with a gunshot wound to the head on April 1, are insisting that his death has not been properly investigated by the authorities, who have ruled it a suicide.
While both a Wall Township pathologist and an independent pathologist hired by Edwards’ relatives arrived at the same conclusion, the family is not convinced he killed himself.
They are contending that both pathologists said no gunpowder residue was detected on either of his hands, and although Edwards was right-handed, the weapon was found in his left hand. There were also no powder burns at the entry point of the bullet wound to his head and no gunpowder residue on either of his hands, according to pathological reports which The Sunday Gleaner has seen.
His loved ones further claim that video footage of the alleged suicide has been tampered with.
“Rasheed did not kill himself. Something is fishy. He uses his right hand and the gun was found in his left hand, but the gunshot wound was to the right side of his head. Also the bullet did not exit his head, and in most cases, if someone is shot at close range the projectile tends to exit due to the force. He was buried with the bullet still in him,” his mother, Jewel Edwards, told The Sunday Gleaner.
“They are covering up something. My son was murdered. There were cameras all around his house, but strangely none could show the incident when he got shot, and the police in the area seem to be uninterested in probing the real reason my son died. He is black, made money and was with a white girl in a city that does not take that lightly,” she added.
Edwards’ remains were flown home to Jamaica and were interred on July 1.
NOT PROPERLY INVESTIGATED
Jewel Edwards contends that her son’s death has not been properly investigated by police in the Jersey Shores community where he lived with his Caucasian girlfriend and her mother.
“If it is that he shot himself at close range, why are there no powder burns? Why no gunpowder residue on either of his hands? Both pathologists report that their examinations reveal this, so why isn’t a thorough investigation being done into my son’s murder?” she asked. “The police in Wall County are treating us as if we are criminals and shut us out. We have tried to reach out to them, begging them to look into the situation but without any success. They are just brushing us aside. We need justice for Rasheed,” she said.
The 33-year-old Edwards, the last of five siblings, grew up in Whitehall Gardens, St Andrew.
He migrated to the United States and attended Ryder University, earning a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration.
He worked as a project manager before being promoted to general manager of Ace World Wide Moving and Storage in east New Jersey.
Edwards’ mom said it was puzzling that Rasheed’s partner’s mom, with whom she was in regular contact before his death, has not reached out to her since the incident and has not been accepting her calls.
The family has been seeking the services of an attorney connected to the National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People in their quest for answers.
“With all that is going on in the world today, we know the curious manner in which Rasheed lost his life can be viewed as just another statistic, but we want justice and will not stop asking how is it that no gunpowder residue was on either of his hands yet they want to rule it an official suicide. Something is not right,” his mom said.