November 2 (New York Post)– The body of an NYPD cop has been recovered after he was pulled away by a strong current on vacation in Guyana, the officer’s heartbroken family said Wednesday.
“They found him today, this morning,” Marcellus Lam, a brother of Officer Gladstone Haynes, told the Daily News outside the family’s home in Prospect Lefferts Gardens, Brooklyn. “I was hoping he was still alive.”
The Guyanese website Stabroek News reported Haynes’ body was recovered at Orinduik Falls about 6:30 a.m. Wednesday — near where the waves pulled him under on Sunday.
He was swimming with a woman near the falls on the border of Guyana and Brazil when the currents became too strong for him. Rescuers managed to grab the woman but couldn’t rescue Haynes.
The father of five was originally from Guyana and was visiting his native country with his fiancee, his brother said.
None of his children — two sons and three girls ranging in age from 2 to 15 — were on the trip with him.
“His mom lives in Guyana and he would go back and forth there,” Lam said. “This was a regular trip. I think when he retired he was going to move back, start building a house there, and stuff like that.”
Haynes immigrated to the U.S. when he was about 7. He attended Wingate High School and Katherine Gibbs College in Rhode Island before joining the NYPD in 2005. He spent most of his career in the 70th Precinct in Flatbush.
“He loved his job,” Lam said. “Before he was an officer he used to do cable work.”
When Lam was given the terrible news this morning he went numb.
“I wanted to cry and I had to sit,” he recalled. “I couldn’t move. I was praying, hoping he was still alive.”
Haynes’ disappearance sparked a massive search and rescue operation that included Guyanese soldiers and an airplane, the news site Demerara Waves said.
The waterfall is in a remote area, and Haynes’ tour group arrived at the site by plane, Demerara Waves reported.
“He got swept away by the current of the water,” his cousin Allison Lawrence told the Daily News Tuesday. “He was an avid swimmer so it’s a surprise.”