Real Names: Bhagwaniala Lall and Lilawattie Buerattan
Nicknames: Moses, Bhagwan (Bhagwaniala), Lila (Lilawattie)
Location: West Palm Beach, Florida
Date: June 4, 1994
Occupation: Bird Farmers
Date of Birth: (Lall) December 27, 1962, (Buerattan) March 23, 1959
Height: (Lall) 5' 7", (Buerattan) 5' 5"
Weight: (Lall) 165 lbs., (Buerattan) 115 lbs.
Marital Status: (Both) Single
Characteristics: (Both) Brown eyes and black hair. Lila has pierced ears
Details: Thirty-one-year-old Moses Lall and thirty-five-year-old Lila Buerattan were Guyanese natives raising exotic birds on a farm in Florida. In 1993, federal restrictions on importing birds caused them to instead focus on breeding birds, which became Lila's job. She was in charge of caring for and feeding the birds. Moses was in charge of the business operations. On June 4, 1994, Daryl Crewe arrived there with their usual food delivery and found it deserted. No one came to meet him, and the hundreds of exotic birds present, valued at $700,000, were starving and screaming for food. He dropped the food off and checked back the next day. The starving birds were screaming even louder. He notified the authorities about the owners' absence.
Two days later on June 7, Moses and Lila's Guyanese hired hand, Hari Gobin, was discovered by a state trooper in Richland Hills, Georgia, changing the tire on Moses' vehicle. When asked for identification, he gave the trooper Moses's driver's license. Without any indication of foul play, the state trooper sent him on his way.
Ten days after they vanished, police and animal control rushed to their farm to rescue and save the starving birds. A bureaucratic slip-up had delayed the investigation, and thirty-to-forty valuable and once beautiful birds died in the absence of their owners. Veterinarians were brought in to help save the other birds.
In the meantime, the authorities wondered what had happened to Moses, Lila, Hari, and ranch hand Roland Eyoum. Roland was from Africa and was the brother of one of Moses's business partners. Rumor had it that Moses had decided to expand the business to include exotic reptiles and had borrowed money from sinister underworld figures to finance it. Perhaps they had run out of money and were abducted.
Two days after the birds were discovered, the authorities tracked Roland to New York, where he had been since before the disappearance. He also told them that he had spoken to Hari on either June 4 or 5. Hari claimed that two men in a white van had taken Moses, Lila, and several birds at gunpoint. Hari has not been found since. However, police don't know if he is running from an abduction or if he had a hand in it.
Suspects: At case time, the police were not considering Hari Gobin a suspect, but wanted to question him on what he knew about the disappearances of his employers. According to Hari, Moses and Lila were abducted by unknown individuals in a white van. Some believe that the two were abducted because of Moses's shady business dealings. Others believe that the abductors were trying to steal the expensive birds.
Extra Notes: This case first aired on the January 31, 1996 episode. It was also profiled on Disappeared.
Results: Unsolved. Investigators now believe that Hari Gobin was responsible for Moses and Lila's disappearances. Moses's mother claims that in October 1993, Hari stole $29,000 from Moses and fled in one of their vans. When he was found in New York, Moses agreed to drop theft charges against him and let him return to his job. Interestingly, when Hari was pulled over in Georgia after the disappearances, a videotape about changing one's identity was found in the van, along with several rare birds and tortoises.
In March 2011, authorities tracked Hari to Jersey City, New Jersey. He was living under the alias "Roy Smith," However, when detectives arrived at his workplace, he had fled. He is now believed to be in the Philadelphia area.
- Moses Lall and Lila Buerattan on Unsolved.com Archive
- Moses Lall and Lila Buerattan on the Charley Project
- Moses Lall and Lila Buerattan on the Doe Network
- Bird deaths remain a mystery - June 18, 1994
- Detectives still looking for clues in deaths of exotic birds - June 19, 1994
- Family to aid search for bird buyer, aunt - June 20, 1994
- Family will aid search for bird buyer, aunt - June 20, 1994
- Tender care bringing neglected exotic birds back to strength - June 23, 1994
- Clues Elusive In Dead Birds Case Pair Who Ran Ranch, 2 Workers Missing - June 23, 1994
- Man In Dead Birds Case Traced To Georgia - July 14, 1994
- Missing ranch worker spotted - July 19, 1994
- Double Murder Feared In Bird Breeder Case - July 20, 1994
- Man's Friend Poses As Bird Breeder - July 21, 1994
- Exotic birds - July 21, 1994
- Police: Exotic birds' owner likely a homicide victim - July 21, 1994
- 350 birds remain in custody - July 21, 1994
- Detectives Hope Tv Can Help' Case Facts To Be Sent To 'Unsolved Mysteries' - August 10, 1994
- The Birdman Vanishes - May 21, 1995
- Palm Beach County can keep $170,000 from auctioning exotic birds - May 17, 1996
- Websleuths Discussion Forum