Friday, February 23, 2018

Palmiste couple to face magistrate today

2002 millionaire murders

TWO persons—a man and a woman—are expected to appear before a San Fernando magistrate today, charged with the murders of auto business millionaire couple Mahase and Darling Rampersad—almost ten years after they were abducted and killed.

The unsolved case was featured last August by the Express in its "Murder Mystery" series.

The suspects, ages 28 and 35, were arrested at their affluent home in Palmiste, near La Romaine, and detained at the Homicide Division in San Fernando for the past four days.

The couple were interviewed by police during the Carnival weekend and a file sent to the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP). Police were instructed to lay charges yesterday.

They were expected to be charged last night with kidnapping and murder.

The couple were questioned and released following the killings back in 2002.

Police said the case was never closed and was pursued by a team of officers attached to the Homicide Division's cold case unit. The team included Corporals Tambie and Mungroo and Constable Hosein.

The suspects live near the Rampersads' home and knew the couple's movements, police said.

The Rampersads were abducted at the gates of their Palmiste, San Fernando, home back in August 2002.

They were returning home after celebrating their daughter's birthday.

Their bodies were found three days later in Woodland, La Romaine.

The state of decomposition led investigators and forensic analysts to believe the elderly couple were killed shortly after they were kidnapped.

They were shot in the back of the head and their skulls were crushed. The autopsy report concluded death was due to cerebral cranial injuries.

The Express learned that several leads were pursued, and more than 30 were people interviewed. But investigators did not have sufficient evidence to lay charges.

The couple founded M Rampersad Auto Supplies, a business that expanded to include Maska Ltd, Fastec Ltd and M Rampersad Auto Supplies shopping centre.

The businesses are now operated by the couple's children.