NYPD Officer Missing, Presumed Dead in Guyana After Failed Waterfall Tour: Reports
A New York police officer has reportedly gone missing while touring a waterfall in the South American country of Guyana.
Police officer Gladstone Haynes of the New York City Police Department (NYPD), of the 70th district in Flatbush, Brooklyn, is reported missing but presumed dead after being pulled underwater by a strong current near Orinduik Falls, on the border of Guyana and Brazil, NY Daily News reported.
The incident reportedly happened around 2:15 p.m. Sunday, according to Guyanese news site Demerara Waves Online News. Haynes, a 17-year veteran of the NYPD who joined the police force in 2005, had reportedly flown in a small plane with friends and other tourists for a tour of the falls.
“He was swept away by the current of the water,” his cousin, Allison Lawrence, told the Daily News. “He was an avid swimmer, so it’s a surprise.”
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Another unnamed tourist who was present at the time told Demerara Waves that there was no guide with the group, and the pilot, a man from Nicaragua, instructed the group to walk down a trail to get to the falls alone. to come.
It’s unclear if Haynes was swimming at the time or if he slipped and fell into the water before being dragged underwater.
The tourist, who ran back with others in the group to inform the pilot of what had happened, said the pilot was not carrying a satellite phone and had no radio link back to the airport, delaying emergency response.
“We are assisting the State Department and local authorities with their investigations,” an NYPD spokesperson said in an email to UKTN News Digital asking to confirm Haynes’ disappearance.
On Monday night, seven members of the Guyana Defense Force Special Forces, the Divisional Police Commander and four police officers were looking for Haynes at the falls, according to Demerara Waves.
Haynes, whose father served with the Guyanese police, lived in Brooklyn with his partner and three children, according to relatives. “He loved his job,” Lawrence told the Daily News. “He was a 17-year veteran. He always wanted to be a police officer because his father was a police officer.”
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“He’s kind-hearted and loving,” added Haynes’ cousin. “He’s a hard-working young man who would give you the clothes off his back. We take it hard. We pray for him.’