Name: Lilawattie “Lila” Buerattan (or Bueratan)
Age: 36 years old
Missing since: June 4, 1994
Location: Loxahatchee, Florida
Status: Still Missing
Disappeared: Season 6 Episode 14 “Birds of Prey”
36-year-old Lilawattie Buerattan has been missing since June 4, 1994.
She disappeared along with her nephew, Bhagwaniala Lall, from their Velazquez Road ranch located near West Palm Beach, in Loxahatchee, Florida.
Lilawattie Buerattan was born on March 23, 1958, in Guyana, South America.
Buerattan had lived in Toronto, Canada, and later moved to Long Island, New York in the early 1980s.
Along with her nephew Bhagwaniala Lall, they rented an old warehouse building in Queens where she would feed and give care to birds imported from Guyana that had to be quarantined for thirty days.
In December of 1992, they moved to Loxahatchee, Florida where they rented a five-acre ranch on Velazquez Road near West Palm Beach. They continued to import and breed exotic birds ranging from large macaws to smaller parrots and toucans.
Living privately, they rarely interacted with the local aviculture community. Loxahatchee was a favored place for aviculturists, estimated to be the first home of about fifty percent of the exotic birds in the country.
The ranch did not have a licence from the Florida Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission to legally breed and sell birds within the state of Florida. They claimed that the birds were not up for sale and were being bred for their personal pleasure.
Buerattan was the birds’ caregiver while Lall was in charge of the ranch’s daily operation. They also employed two ranch hands, Hari Gobin and Roland Felix Eyoum.
On June 4, 1994, a delivery man from the Bird Haven Feed Company arrived at the ranch to deliver the weekly supply to Lall and Buerattan’s birds.
When no one came to meet him, he hopped over the fence to check inside the ranch but Lall and Buerattan were missing along with their two workers. He decided to pile up the feeds up at the front gates and left.
On June 5, 1994, the delivery man returned to the ranch and discovered the feeds from the day before were still left unattended at the front gate. Growing concerned, he notified the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Department.
Authorities didn’t begin the investigation until June 15, 1994, due to the case’s jurisdiction being sent between Palm Beach County Sheriffs’ Department, Palm Beach County Animal Control and Florida Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission.
When they finally arrived on the scene, police found rows of cages with birds either dead or dying from starvation and dehydration. Buerattan was nowhere to be seen.
Her nephew, Bhagwaniala Lall, along with their two ranch hands, Daljeet Gobin and Roland Felix Eyoum, were also missing.
It was estimated from the farm’s inventory of the feed left in the garage that the birds had not been fed in at least ten days. When animal control experts took charge of the birds, there were approximately $500,000-700,000 worth of wild birds inside the ranch.
Roland Felix Eyoum
Roland Eyoum was a reptile dealer who befriended Lall during a trip in Africa. He had been employed at the ranch since its opening in 1992.
On June 18, 1994, Eyoum was located in New York City, New York, two days after the investigation started. He told investigators he had quit working at the ranch two weeks before Moses and Lila were reported missing.
He also recalled a story told by Gobin around June 4th or 5th, about witnessing two unidentified men taking away Lall and Buerattan in a white van at gunpoint, along with some of the birds.
Authorities learned that Lall had been working on a plan to import reptiles from Africa and had reportedly borrowed money from some underworld figures.
They began to suspect that Lall and Buerattan might have been abducted, but never found evidence to substantiate the theory.
Daljeet Hari Gobin
38-years-old Daljeet Gobin was a fellow native from Guyana who had worked for Lall and Buerattan since they started the ranch in 1992.
In October 1993, Lall told his mother that Gobin stole $29,000 from the ranch. He had filed charges but later dropped it when Gobin agreed to return the money. He was allowed to return and continued to work in the ranch.
On June 7, 1994, a man was arrested on traffic charges in Richland Hills, Georgia, by a state trooper as he was changing a tire. He was taken in for driving with a suspended license and later released on a $318 bail.
The man’s driver licence identified him as Bhagwaniala Lall, and the white 1992 Plymouth Voyager van he was driving was also registered to Lall.
Authorities only learned from the mugshot and fingerprints sent by Richmond Hill Police after the man’s release from custody that he was in fact Hari Gobin, one of the ranch hands.
Gobin disappeared after that encounter with police, and has not been heard from since. Police believe Gobin has vital details in regards to the case and he is wanted for questioning by police.
He is described as Asian, originally from Guyana, 5’7” tall with black hair and brown eyes.
Mahadi Lall, Lall’s mother and Buerattan’s sister, attempted to purchase the birds from the government as family property, but she was met with a bill of $180,000 from Animal Control, the standard charge for the care of the confiscated animals.
On August 22, 1994, the ranches surviving birds were ordered by a Florida judge to be publicly auctioned off to raise the money.
Foul play is strongly suspected in Lilawattie Buerattan’s disappearance, and authorities believe she was taken against her will by unknown men.
The circumstances of Lilawattie Buerattan’s disappearance remain unclear and her case is currently classified as endangered and missing. Her case remains unsolved.
Asian female. Black hair, brown eyes. Buerattan is of Guyanese descent. Her ears are pierced. She is 5’5” tall and weighs 115 pounds.
If you have any information regarding the disappearance of Lilawattie Buerattan please contact the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Department at (561) 688-3000.
Resources & Further Information
Bhagwan Lall – Case file 1048DMFL – The Doe Network
Bhagwan Lall #MP28168 – NamUs
Lilawattie Buerattan – Case file 1178DFFL – The Doe Network
Lilawattie Bueratan #MP28167 – NamUs
Lila Buerattan & Moses Lall – Unsolved Mysteries
The Loxahatchee Horror – Could It Happen to Your Aviary? – Voren’s Aviaries Inc
News & Media Links
Clues Elusive In Dead Birds Case: Pair Who Ran Ranch, 2 Workers Missing – Sun Sentinel 06/1994
Man in Dead Birds Case Tracked to Georgia – Sun Sentinel 06/1994
Double Murder Feared In Bird Breeder Case – Sun Sentinel 07/1994
The Birdman Vanishes – Sun Sentinel 05/1995
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