Nightmarish scenes gripped 21-year-old Vishard Mohammed as he walked into his parents home on Thursday and found their decomposing corpses on the floor of their living room.
Alongside the bodies of Shelly-Ann Ragoonanan, 43 and Wazir Mohammed, 57, was the body of his uncle 52-year-old Nazim Mohammed.
Their bodies all bore gunshot wounds.
The tragedy rocked the Clarke Road, Penal community and neighbours rejoiced that the murderers spared the lives of Vishard’s four-year-old sister and eight-month-old brother who sat among the stench of rotting bodies that could be smelt from the roadway.
Their deaths were among five murders Thursday, taking the murder count to 339 for the year.
In Petit Valley, Timothy Owen was shot dead. According to police, around 10 am residents of School Street saw Owen lying on the roadway bleeding from wounds to his head and chest. He died on the scene.
In Arima, police said around 4 pm relatives of Mofeed Baksh went to his home at Llanos Street in search of him and found him dead. His throat was slit.
Homicide detectives assigned to the eerie murder mystery in Penal believed the victims were killed since Sunday.
What puzzled them was that the children appeared to be well-fed and the baby’s diaper was mildly clean leading to suspicions that the killer/s may be known to the family and had been in the house recently.
Up to last night, the children were being examined by staff at the Siparia District Health Facility and was expected to be released into relatives’ care.
While no motive was established for the Penal murders, investigators are probing whether Wazir’s job as a scrap-iron and used truck parts dealer had anything to do with it. However, they said it did not appear that there was a robbery.
Snr Supt Wayne Mohammed said that since Sunday, Vishard, who lives in another village in Penal, was trying to contact his parents but there was no response.
Deciding to check, he was met with a locked gate. He climbed over and saw a door to the house broken. He then made the gruesome discovery. Vishard took the children out of the house and contacted police.
Relatives said the Mohammeds lived a reclusive life in their house on a hill, concealed by a canopy of trees. A galvanise fence bordered the property. A relative said that Ragoonanan was a quiet person while Wazir hardly interacted with others.
Mohammed said that because of the state of decomposition, it was difficult to give the extent of the injuries. It is hoped that an autopsy scheduled for today at the Forensic Science Centre would provide further evidence.
Ragoonanan’s cousin, Wendy Seepersad, who lives four miles away, said they rarely met with the family, only on occasions. Seepersad said the last time she saw Ragoonanan was back in May. She said she was not aware of any threats to her cousin’s life.
“We always talk and things like that, but we only see at family things…We live not far from here and it can happen to anyone of us. I was really shocked that it was my family. I live right on a main road just like her and anybody could jump into anybody’s house and do things to people. Although we have police patrols that come in here off and on in the night, this is really sad,” Seepersad said.
While the murders have left relatives traumatised and scared, Mohammed is asking residents to be wary of their surroundings and report suspicious people in their community.
“All I will tell the public is to just be vigilant and when you see strange people in the area, you need to report it, you need to let the police know that strange people are in your area. What happens sometimes, these criminal elements have a way of networking by meeting one another in jail and joining with the people in your village to commit crimes. I am not saying that this is the case in this instance,” Mohammed said.
Southern Division Police led by ACP Zamsheed Mohammed and officers of the Homicide Bureau of Investigations, Region Three, including ASP Steve Seepersad were among the officers who responded.