Find her body parts
By JANELLE DE SOUZA Saturday, February 16 2013
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MURDERED: Shinelle Nelson, whose body minus her head, arms and feet was fished out of the Guayamare River in Central Trinidad on Wednesday....
GRIEVING relatives of 21-year-old murder victim Shinelle Nelson are appealing to police to find parts of her body which were missing, so that she can have a proper burial which would bring a measure of closure for relatives on this tragedy.
On Wednesday, Nelson’s body was found floating in the Guayamare River minus its head, arms and feet. An autopsy revealed that a sharp instrument, possibly a cutlass, was used to sever Nelson’s head and her limbs. Prior to the autopsy, police believed that caimans may have bitten off and eaten Nelson’s missing body parts.
Up to late yesterday, searches in the bushes near the riverbank yielded nothing and the whereabouts of the young woman’s body parts remain a mystery. Where her head and limbs are, why someone would want to murder Nelson, why in such a gruesome manner and the motives behind her slaying, are some of the issues the police are hoping to get answers to.
Nelson’s cousin Evans Petamber, yesterday told Newsday the family had taken the news of the murder “very hard” especially because of the manner in which her body was mutilated. He described Nelson’s mother, Patricia Durham, as distraught and said Nelson’s sister was “in a mess.”
“We hope the Police would actually do something to try to find those parts. To bury her in that condition, it’s a nightmare that we will have to live with for the rest of our lives,” said Petamber.
He recalled that, originally, Nelson planned to attend the Insomnia breakfast party in Chaguaramas with family and friends on Sunday morning. However, instead, the group went to the Trini Possie fete, also in Chaguaramas, on Saturday night.
Petamber said she left Trini Possie, to meet some other friends at Insomnia, but several of them did not attend. “I don’t know if she knew that they changed their minds or not. The family is still trying to figure out what happened. No one saw her at Insomnia,” he said.
Petamber believed Nelson either walked to Insomnia, or had someone waiting for her outside Trini Possie. He said, initially, when they tried to contact Nelson on her cellphone, it rang and then went to voice mail. However, subsequent calls to the phone went straight to voicemail. When they could not get in contact with her, they thought she had slept over by a friend and maybe her phone had discharged.
“She’d usually contact us but it’s Carnival and people do things like that so we weren’t too worried,” he said. It was not until Carnival Tuesday, when she still had not contacted anyone, that they really began to be concerned. Therefore, in addition to friends, the family began contacting the police and hospitals.
It was only on Thursday, through descriptions of various tattoos on the body in newspaper reports, that the family realised that Nelson could be dead. Petamber said he was willing to offer a reward to anyone with information on his cousin’s death.