Berbicians are still in shock following the murder/suicide of a popular business couple in the region.
On Friday ‘troubled’ businessman Randolph Blair, 47, murdered his wife and subsequently committed suicide at their Cumberland, East Canje Berbice home.
Deceased couple” Rhonda and Randolph Blaid
The couple’s growing financial woes reportedly led the man to commit the shocking crime. Blair’s failure to convince his wife to sell their Pitt Street, New Amsterdam property/business to offset millions of dollars in debt triggered him to execute his rage.
The couple owned the popular variety store, ‘Stretch D Dollar’ located at Rosignol, West Coast Berbice and New Amsterdam. The business was opened in 2013 following an $83M investment. However; in 2014 the Blair’s began experiencing financial challenges due to the decline in business in Berbice. They were forced to close the Rosignol branch of their business and focus their energies on New Amsterdam.
The businessman could not handle the pressure and attempted suicide, however; he bounced back from that state of mind with help from his wife and family. They both recommitted their lives to God and were attempting to get their business back on track, according to a source close to the family.
The couple’s East Canje Berbice home, inset is the yard in which the businessman’s lifeless body was found
This steady path did not last long for Mr. Blair who regressed into a state of depression and believed the only way he could take his family out of their growing debt was to sell their Pitt Street property but his wife refused and kept hope that they will recover from their financial condition.
The businessman kept pushing his idea to his wife who could not take it and she eventually moved out of their matrimonial home. She was staying with a friend for weeks but on Friday she went back to her home with hopes of saving their marriage, but Mr. Blair had other plans. He had related to friends that he would murder his wife and kill himself, however, they thought he was speaking out of anger and frustration and encouraged him against it.
After the businesswoman did not show up, her friend became worried and ventured down to her home, alerted the woman’s son and they both went in search of her. The police were later notified and a search was carried out at their home where the shocking discovery was made by the businesswoman’s son in their yard.
Later in the day police arrived on the scene but a shot was fired in their direction by the businessman who had a brief standoff with ranks. Commander of ‘B’ Division Paul Williams said police ranks and family members tried to negotiate with him to surrender but he refused and eventually shot himself twice.
Rhonda Blair, 42, a former school teacher who has been described by many as a kind, compassionate and giving person was stabbed multiple times by the man she shared two children with. (By Tracey Khan-Drakes)