Authorities search for masked men in 2015 gruesome beating, murder

Author: Lee County Sheriff's Office
Published: Updated:
Hemchand Bhagwandin, 68, was beaten and murdered by masked men. (Credit: LCSO)
Hemchand Bhagwandin, 68, was beaten and murdered by masked men. (Credit: LCSO)

Having emigrated from India to the small, South American nation of Guyana and, subsequently, to the United States, the Bhagwandin family sought nothing more than a peaceful existence and a better life.

Hemchand Bhagwandin, a 68-year-old retired automobile mechanic, and his wife, Sabitree, were babysitting for their young granddaughter on the evening of March 15, 2015, when two masked men entered their Lehigh Acres residence between the hours of 10:15 and 11:15.

The men reportedly restrained Mrs. Bhagwandin using zip-ties, pillaged and ransacked the home and savagely beat Hemchand Bhagwandin. Having been ruthlessly and mercilessly kicked, stomped upon and abused, having had bleach poured upon him (and on his wife), Mr. Bhagwandin succumbed to the gruesome beating.

Hemchand was a peaceful man who savored gardening and, of course, playing with his grandchildren. As nothing was taken from the home, the incident generates more questions than details. Still, detectives categorize this event as a home invasion robbery.

“He’d give his last piece of bread to a stranger – even if he was hungry,” stated Nirmala Bhagwandin, the victim’s daughter.

SWFL Crime Stoppers Coordinator, Trish Routte, remarked, “What compounds the pain and loss the family is feeling are the unanswered questions of who could commit such a heinous crime on a senior citizen and for what reason?”

Hemchand’s other daughter, who chooses to have her name omitted, displays cogent concern for her mother’s suffering. “The vision of my father lying there, deceased, does not leave her mind. These are things that will never go away,” she shared. “They could have taken anything they wanted and left. But they chose to exercise extreme brutality and then leave. They took away a great man. A man that nobody had a bad thing to say about. No one.”

“She’s struggling. She lost her partner in life and on top of losing that, they stole her quality of life. She’s living in fear,” added Nirmala. “We lost the foundation of our home. Even though we don’t all live in the same home, that’s the blood that runs through our veins that just keeps bleeding and bleeding for all of us. Knowing that the individuals who were involved in this are behind bars will help my father’s soul to rest in peace.”

Detectives remain hopeful that someone will come forward with information…even if only sharing what might seem to be unimportant…and help move this case forward.

Should you have any information regarding the unidentified male suspects mentioned above, you are urged to call SWFL Crime Stoppers at 1-800-780-TIPS. All persons submitting tips can remain anonymous and are eligible for a reward of up to $3,000. Anonymous tips may also be made online at

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