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Farmer found hanging from tree in Lowmans Windward

Farmer found hanging from tree in Lowmans Windward


Arnos Durrant, the 66-year-old farmer who was found hanging from a tree in a plot of land he farmed in Lowmans Windward, had Gramoxone in his stomach when he died.

A police source told SEARCHLIGHT on Wednesday that an autopsy revealed that the deadly weedicide was present in Durrant’s {{more}}system, but the cause of death was asphyxiation, due to hanging.

Durrant’s body was found hanging from a tree on the morning of Friday, May 13, by a villager. This was the second time that this particular villager had discovered someone hanging; as a little boy, he had discovered his own father hanging, the older man having committed suicide.

Since the discovery of Durrant’s body, a number of theories surrounding the farmer’s death have been making the rounds, with some entertaining the idea that he did not hang himself, but was, in fact, murdered. The police, however, are treating the death as a suicide.

But one of Durrant’s closest friends, Leary Johnson, told SEARCHLIGHT that Durrant was acting strangely the week leading up to his death and he thinks that his friend actually committed suicide.

“I seriously don’t suspect foul play. I was seeing some signs with him during the week and he told me that he was fed up with his nephews. We was cooking Wednesday night and he say he don’t want no food, because one of his nephew was cooking it. He say he tired with them,” said Johnson.

Johnson added that Durrant did not go to farm his lands for the entire week and he had been drinking a lot of alcohol.

“That is not he; he goes to the mountain first thing in the morning, then he comes out close to night-time; but he didn’t do that last week and that was very strange. He was very frustrated with his nephews and I know frustration can lead to anything,” said Johnson.

Johnson also took SEARCHLIGHT to see the area where Durrant was found. He said that the route to where his friend died is a public route and if anyone tried to carry the deceased to the spot where he was found hanging, they would easily be seen.

He noted also that the area where Durrant was found showed no signs of a struggle, as there were no broken down plants or multiple footprints in the mud and Durrant’s clothing showed no signs of a struggle.

Johnson added that he knew Durrant for years and that he was a good person, who was well liked in the community.

“…Everybody in the community loved him and respected him. I don’t know if he would hang himself; he not a rough person; he was a calm guy, cool going; anybody have anything doing in the community, he would help them. He was the village chef. We used to all go over and cook,” said Johnson, who said that he and Durrant belonged to a group called ‘Narny and the Boys’ and Durrant was ‘Narny’, the head of the group.

“He will be sadly missed by me and all the guys on the block.”

Another of Durrant’s friends, Warren Barnwell, also described the deceased as “a good man”.

“When people die, people usually say they are good, no matter how bad they were, but really and truly, he really was a good person,” stressed Barnwell, who, unlike Johnson, is finding it hard to digest the suicide theory.

“I don’t see him killing himself; nothing is impossible, but I can’t really see that happening. I know he did not have financial problems or anything of the sort. I knew him my whole life,” said Barnwell, who was close friends with Durrant.

Barnwell said that the death of his friend has made him “tense”.

“I no longer can take my guard down, because I have to now have a watchful eye. I am very tense and worried,” stressed Barnwell, who revealed that Durrant had been a farmer all his life, had no children and was also a mason and a chef.

“Nobody would have an event and he wouldn’t be taking part: a wedding, a party, anything, he was very helpful,” said Barnwell, noting that when Durrant did not turn up to help him with a work related issue on Friday, he had no idea what had happened.

Durrant’s family members refused to comment.(LC)