TOO feeble to fight back, 87-year-old Jane Toophanie was hog-tied, gagged and terrorised by two men who broke into the family's home and killed her son yesterday.
Police believe Atwaroo Toophanie, 62, was chopped and his throat slit because he refused to reveal the numbers for a combination to unlock a safe containing the family's jewels.
The elderly woman was discovered around 6.30 a.m. yesterday, cowering in a corner of the living room of the house at Rochard Douglas Road, Barrackpore.
Her son's body was in the front porch of the house where he was apparently dragged by the killers who attacked the pair at around 1 a.m.
The discovery was made by a couple who are renting the ground floor of the home, where they operate the Silver Stream Bar.
Police said the killers, armed with a cutlass and knife, got into the Toophanie family compound by climbing a wall.
Toophanie and her son, Atwaroo, the only occupants in the house, were asleep.
Police were told the mother and son were awakened and dragged into the living room.
The thieves demanded money and the numbers to open the combination lock to the safe.
The men ransacked the family's home and escaped with jewelry and $8,000.
Police said when the couple arrived, they noticed a door at the side of the house was open and called out to the mother and son.
The couple from the ground floor told investigators they heard the elderly woman groaning and went upstairs.
They found Atwaroo lying in the porch with wounds to his head, face and neck. He was dead.
Police said the doors were not forced open, and fingerprint experts were dusting for evidence last evening.
Relatives said Atwaroo was separated from his wife, Parbatee, and moved in with his mother several years ago. He was a father of six and worked as a builder.
Parbatee Toophanie said she did not know why her estranged husband and his mother were targeted.
A family friend said he last spoke with Atwaroo on Tuesday.
He said: "I passed by the bar and we sat down and talked before I went to work. He was a real humble, decent man. I don't think he had any enemies.
"I can't say why someone would come into their home and do something like this. His mother was also a good woman, she is so old and feeble to have to endure something like this."
Jane Toophanie's arms and face were swollen and she was cut in the head.
However, she refused to seek medical attention, relatives said.
The Express was told the elderly woman was inconsolable, as she shared a close relationship with her son.