A ROBBERY gone awry was the reason given by police as to why a 61-year-old woman was murdered at her home in Belmont yesterday.
The death of Meena Maingot has left many who knew her in the community where she lived in a state of shock.
She was murdered shortly before midday by a man from the area who had entered her home to carry out a robbery, police said. Her throat was slit.
Maingot's death has pushed the country's murder toll for the year so far to 331, according to an Express tally.
Police said around 11.45 a.m., the man jumped a wall around Maingot's yard, at the corner of Jerningham Avenue and Archer Street, before entering the house.
Investigators said they believed Maingot may have put up a struggle before the killer pulled out a knife and slashed her throat.
After murdering her, neighbours in the area saw the suspect exiting the yard with a bloodied towel on his shoulder and alerted police who were on patrol in the area.
However, the killer, upon spotting the officers, dropped the towel along the roadway before jumping into the East Dry River and escaping, said police.
Officers said they are aware of the man's identity and up to yesterday evening a search was being carried out for him.
Residents in the area said the suspect was known in the community.
Maingot's body was found in a back room of the house by one of her siblings with whom she lived, said police.
Scores of neighbours had gathered as crime-scene investigators processed the area.
One woman who did not want to be identified said Maingot was the owner of several ducks and it was only on Wednesday evening that the man went to her home asking if he could purchase one, but Maingot refused.
She said it was believed the man may have gone into the yard to steal one of the ducks and later decided to enter the house.
"What type of demon would possess someone to do this to an old lady or to anyone, as a matter of fact. She never did anybody anything. All she used to do was take care of her ducks. I mean, it is not to say like she was any rich person they could rob or anything so why they had to kill her?" asked the woman.
Others remembered Maingot as a pleasant person who always kept to herself.
Officers of the Port of Spain Criminal Investigation Department (CID), led by ASP Kenny McIntyre, along with homicide detectives and crime scene investigators visited the scene and carried out enquiries.