Saturday, February 24, 2018

Couple murdered at Cedros home

NOT even the burglar proofing they installed a month ago could keep out the thieves who came during the night to rob and kill an elderly couple at their home in Cedros.

The bodies of Krishna Ramdeen, 63, and wife Radha, 57, were found yesterday on the floor near their bed.

 Ramdeen, who was enfeebled by a stroke, had been chopped or bludgeoned to death. His wife was suffocated with a plastic bag. 

Police said that based on the blood splatters, the couple fought to live.

The killers stole more than $50,000 in cash and jewels.

The couple had four children and eight grandchildren. 

They owned White Diamond Mini Mart and Bar on Beach Road, in Fullerton Village, and were well-known and loved by their neighbours and fellow-villagers. 

The couple’s killings took the murder toll to 19 in seven days. 

No suspects in any of these murders have been taken to court this year. Their son, Robin Ramdeen, said his parents were not criminals, but law-abiding citizens who had worked hard for their  livelihood. 

He disagreed with a statement by National Security Minister Gary Griffith that the majority of murders last year were committed by criminals who were killing other criminals, and that citizens who are not involved in criminal activities had no reason to fear for their lives. 

 “There are also a lot of copy-cat criminals in this country, and because a crime happened in one place it will happen somewhere else,” Ramdeen said.

 “Apart from the mafia, there are a lot of illegal activities in this country. My mother told us weeks ago that she was always afraid that people will rob them. There were petty robberies before, but nothing close to this,” the son added. 

The bodies were discovered around 8.30 a.m. by another of the Ramdeens’ sons, Ravi Ramdeen,  who went to check on the house. 

Relatives told the  Express that Ravi Ramdeen came to the house after his brother-in-law Byron Yaya telephoned him and said he had been calling out the couple but there was no response. 

Yaya left the Ramdeens the previous night around 10 o’clock, after assisting in taking down decorations which were hung for Christmas.  

Neighbours said the couple usually opened the mini mart at around 5 a.m. 

The Express was told that after a spate of robberies in their business place last year, in December the couple spent $30,000 to install burglar proofing on their windows and doors, except for one bedroom window. 

“They didn’t get a chance to install the burglar proofing there as yet because they changed that window recently. That would have been installed this week,” Robin Ramdeen told the Express.

 “We had been encouraging them for years to put on the burglar proof. But since this is a country area, they did not think it was necessary. Recently, people had scaled the walls before and stolen drinks from the bar. But since they lived here over 50 years and they know everyone here and everyone knows them, they did not think they would be harmed.” 

The couple’s daughter, Rani Ramdeen, cried out for the death penalty to be enforced against convicted killers. 

“Hang them! Hang them!” she screamed, sitting outside her parents’ home surrounded by police officers and forensic analysts. “When you all find them hang them! That was my mother and father. They didn’t do nobody nothing!” 

Local government councillor for Cap-de-ville/Cedros, Ramesh Sewnal, who was at the scene, said the killings were a shock to their community.

 “We don’t have crime here. We had a courthouse and it was closed down because it was not in use. This is a wake-up call. We cannot think that crime will not happen anywhere because it can. We have to be vigilant,” said Sewnal. 

District medical officer Dr Parasram examined the bodies and ordered them removed to the San Fernando mortuary. 

Autopsies are expected to be performed today at the Forensic Science Centre, St James.  

Visiting the scene were Senior Supt of the Homicide Division Cyril Harry, Senior Supt David Lewis, police officers of the South-Western Division Task Force, Homicide Division, and Cedros CID. 

Police believe the suspects were known to the couple and lived in the village.