Sunday, February 25, 2018

Six-year-old Gabriela presumed drowned

LITTLE Gabriela Marcano was warned to be careful in the water before she left for a beach lime with her family at Moruga on Sunday.

Marcano’s grand-uncle, John Small, said yesterday that he spoke to the six-year-old child and her parents before they left for a day at Grand Chemin beach.

Up to late yesterday, little Gabriela could not be found and she is presumed drowned.

Small told the Express: "I gave everybody a warning. I told them the sea is not to be played with. I told her (Gabriela) do not go close to the water and to be careful."

The child was discovered missing around 3.20 p.m.

Gabriela, a first year pupil of Anstey Memorial Girls’ Primary School, went to the beach with her parents, Kelly Marcano and Shawn Matthews, siblings Josiah, who is four years old, and two-year-old Shawna and other relatives. The family lives at Lady Bird Crescent, Pleasantville.

Small said Matthews told him when they arrived on the beach, the tide was low, but rose while they were in the water.

Matthews said when his daughter disappeared, he and other relatives searched the beach and nearby mangroves on Sunday and yesterday, without success.

Matthews said Gabriela’s brother and sister were asking when their sister would return home.

“They are laughing and playing, but they asking us when Gabby coming home. We haven't told them anything as yet,” he told the Express.

Divers from the Trinidad and Tobago Coast Guard searched in the waters off Grand Chemin beach where she was last seen.

Coast Guard public relations officer Lieutenant Kirk Jean-Baptiste said four divers as well as air support went in search of the missing child, but she was not found.

By midday the divers left the scene when the tide fell. Jean-Baptiste said the divers would return to Moruga today and widen the scope of the search. Small said Gabriela was a very “bright little girl” and her siblings were asking for her.

“She was already reading and spelling properly. She was a very active child and she was comfortable playing in the sea.”

Corporal Ramlogan of Moruga Police Station is investigating.