Sunday, January 21, 2018

5 murders in 72 hours


ALL IN A DAY’S WORK: An undertaker looks at the body of Develyn Simpson, 32, who was found bludgeoned to death yesterday in her rented apartment in Princes Town. See Page 5 —Photo: TREVOR WATSON

Mark Fraser

Police are investigating the circumstances surrounding the death of 43-year-old Andy Ramsingh AKA Joe, whose charred remains were found in a vehicle in Central Trinidad on Wednesday night.

An autopsy was unable to determine the exact cause of death. 

The autopsy on Ramsingh was performed yesterday by forensic pathologist Dr Valery Alexandrov at the Forensic Science Centre in St James.

Due to the condition of the body, the pathologist was unable to determine if there was foul play involved in Ramsingh’s death, although it was noted that soot was found in the lungs of the man, leading to the possibility that smoke inhalation may have been a factor.

Blood and tissue samples were harvested and sent for further testing and analysis.

Ramsingh’s body was found in a Nissan Sunny at about 8 p.m., along Phoenix Park Road, California.

Central Division police had been alerted that a vehicle was seen on fire along the roadway and, when they arrived, they were shocked to find the body of a man on the back seat. 

At the Centre in St James yesterday, Ramsingh’s relatives, in a brief talk with the media, said he was a father of two, ages 12 and 11, and was a “cool-going and normal” person.  

Ramsingh’s death comes after  there were five other reported homicides over a 72-hour period.

Between Wednesday and press time yesterday, four men were shot to death and a woman was beaten and strangled. 

On Wednesday, at about 7 p.m., Anthony de Verteuil, 26, of Cordia Drive, Valencia, was shot dead along Quarry Road, Valencia.

The construction worker and father of one was shot eight times in the chest and arms by an unknown assailant. According to friends, De Verteuil had been liming at Hollis Reservoir earlier that day and was walking home when he was murdered.

At about 8.15 p.m. that same evening, gunmen, dressed as police, shot and killed Hamandeo “Jacko” Manichand, 28, of Harmony Hall, Gasparillo.

Manichand was playing cards at home with his wife and a group of friends when several men dressed in police caps, bullet-proof vests, and bandanas covering their faces, entered the home and ordered Manichand to lie on the floor. They proceeded to shoot the unemployed father of two in the head. 

The murders continued into Thursday when a father and son were both killed at their St Helena home.

At about 6 p.m., Devanand Gookool, 51, and his son Jeremy Gookool, 27, were sitting in the backyard of their home when a man entered the yard and started a conversation with the two.

A few minutes later, however, the man pulled out a gun and shot both Devanand and Jeremy, before calmly leaving the scene. 

An autopsy report revealed that Devanand was shot four times to the back of the head.

His son was also shot four times, once to the head, and once to his chest, shoulder and abdomen. 

And at about 12.30 a.m. yesterday, 32-year-old Develyn Simpson was bludgeoned to death at her Matilda Junction, Princes Town home.

These killings bring the murder toll to 277 for the year according to an Express tally. The figure for the corresponding period in 2013 was 249.