Details of Disappearance
Buerattan was a breeder of exotic birds on a ranch in Loxahatchee, Florida in 1994. She worked with her nephew, Bhagwaniala Lall
. Lall acted as the main businessperson, and Buerettan was the birds' primary caregiver.
Their family in Guyana had an established business importing wild birds, but Lall and Buerattan began breeding the birds instead when the United States tightened laws regarding imports in 1993. Lall and Buerrattan were said to be private people who kept their business affairs to themselves.
A feed delivery person made a routine stop at their ranch on June 5, 1994. No one greeted the worker at the gate, which was unusual. He knew that Lall and Buerattan did not stock reserve feed for the birds, so the worker left the boxes at the gate. The feed was unclaimed when he returned the following day and he alerted authorities.
Investigators did not search the ranch until June 16, 1994, ten days after Lall and Buerattan's absences were reported, due to a bureaucratic error. Authorities discovered hundreds of birds dead or dying of starvation inside the ranch when the search was finally initiated. There was no sign of Buerattan or her nephew. Their ranch hands, Daljeet Gobin and Roland Felix Eyoum, were also missing.
Investigators determined that there was approximately $700,000 worth of wild birds inside the ranch. Authorities said it appeared that the property's occupants had been interrupted by unknown individual(s) prior to their disappearances.
Gobin and Eyoum had been employed at the ranch since its opening in 1992. Gobin had handled the daily operations of the ranch at Lall's request. Eyoum was located in New York City, New York on June 18, 1994, thirteen days after Lall and Buerattan's disappearances.
Eyoum told authorities that Gobin said he witnessed two unidentified men force Lall and Buerattan into a white van at gunpoint. According to Eyoum, Gobin claimed that several birds were also taken into the vehicle as well.
Gobin was apprehended in Georgia on June 7, 1994, two days after Lall and Buerattan vanished. He told authorities he was Lall, then disappeared after being released. Investigators learned Gobin's true identity when he was no longer in custody. It is not known if Gobin is involved with Lall and Buerattan's disappearances, but authorities would like to question him regarding the case.
A photo of Gobin is posted with this case summary. He is described as Asian, 5'5 - 5'7 with black hair and brown eyes. He was approximately 38 years old in 1994. His nickname is Hari. Gobin may use the aliases Harry Gobin and/or Black Gobin. He is originally from Guyana.
Lall and Buerattan's surviving birds were publicly auctioned off in Florida later in 1994. Their family attempted to purchase the birds from the government, but arrangements fell through.
Lall and Buerattan's relatives stated that they would never abandon the animals willingly. Foul play is suspected in their disappearances, although authorities did recover a videotape from Lall's van which explained how to change one's identity. Their cases remain unsolved.