Friday, February 23, 2018

Ria was abducted one year ago...she was never found

Never found: Ria Sookdeo

ONE year ago today, mother of two Ria Sookdeo was abducted after dropping off her children at the Picton Presbyterian Primary School in Debe.

She was never seen again.

The only thing holding the family together, they say, is each other and  faith in God.

Sookdeo's father, Frankie Rajkumar today criticised the police for failing their family.

He said that following the kidnapping, police officers were invested in finding Sookdeo.

However, the calls and visits from the police officers stopped as if “ finding her was no longer a matter pf priority for them.”

“Nobody cares that she is missing. Nobody doing anything to find her. How long can we go on without any word from the police? I woke up this morning and cried because of this.

If it is someone with money and hierarchy, look how fast they would act and find them but because we poor and don't have money like the rich, they not taking her missing seriously. Look how fast they moved when the business from San Fernando was kidnapped, why couldn't they do that for my daughter?” said Rajkumar.

The heart-broken man said Sookdeo was his only daughter and said his faith in God and his grandchildren are what is holding him together. He also said that the children did not receive any counselling and his granddaughter still feels the effects of losing her mother.

He said: “My family is torn because of this whole situation. My belief in God is the only thing holing me together, that and my grandchildren. These children suffering. Her (Sookdeo's) son would say that his mommy is missing, he's too small to truly understanding everything. But my granddaughter knows more and she knows that her mother was kidnapped. These children need their mother.

Up to this day, we have not received any counselling like they (the police) promised. When everything happened, they all around and look now, it is a year later and nothing. We just in the dark waiting and praying and hoping.

I know in my heart my daughter is alive and somewhere waiting to be found. All the rumours that she is all over the place and we looked but we didn't find her.

God and God alone knows where my child is.”

Sookdeo, a hairdresser from Debe was dropped off her children at the Picton Presbyterian School.

A black Nissan X-Trail sport utility vehicle pulled in front of her vehicle, blocking her pathway.

Police were told than an unmasked man emerged from the vehicle and dragged Sookdeo out of her red Nissan X-Trail.

All that was left was her handbag and cellphone.

An all-points bulletin was immediately issued and roadblocks set up in several areas, but Sookdeo was not found.

Police called in the National Operations Centre (NOC) Air Division helicopter to assist in the search.

San Fernando CID, Task Force, Anti-Kidnapping Unit and K-9 Unit officers conducted searches for Sookdeo, but she was not found.

A week later, a black Nissan X-Trail was seized at a house in Barrackpore and an ex-policeman detained. But the man was later released and it was determined the vehicle was not used in Sookdeo's abduction.

Two months later, Crime Stoppers offered a $50,000 reward for any information that could help in finding Sookdeo.