Hammer blow to the head
By DARCEL CHOY Wednesday, August 7 2013
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MURDERED: Vidya Persad...
THE country’s murder toll rose to 226 yesterday when an Aranjuez landlady was struck a blow to her head with a hammer when she attempted to collect unpaid rent from a male tenant.
The brutal murder of Vidya Persad, 45, sent shock waves throughout the quiet Aranjuez area. Police sources said that at about nine o’clock yesterday morning, Persad went to her apartment building at Moulla Trace with the aim of getting thousands of dollars in rent money owed to her for several months from a specific male tenant. It cost $2,100 a month to rent one of the apartments.
A heated argument ensued between Persad and the tenant with the former threatening the latter to evict him because of the unpaid rent. The enraged tenant then picked up a hammer while Persad turned and began running away.
The man chased after Persad and struck her a savage blow to the head with the steel hammer. She collapsed and died on the spot. The tenant, who is in his 20s and whose identity is now known by the police, fled the scene and last night, a manhunt was underway for his arrest.
Neighbours who heard Persad’s scream for help and later saw her body on the ground with blood flowing from her head, called in the Barataria police. Several officers later arrived on the scene along with the District Medical Officer (DMO) who ordered the body removed to the Forensic Science Centre, St James, for an autopsy.
A relative told Newsday that the tenant moved into the apartment a few months ago and never paid the $2,100 per month rent. A female relative said Persad had tried unsuccessfully for a month to evict the tenant but he refused to leave.
The relative said Persad once lived in Barbados but recently returned home to Trinidad. Shocked neighbours said the male tenant, after committing murder, walked down to the Aranjuez Main Road where he purchased doubles from a vendor and left the area.
Neighbours described Persad as a quiet person who loved to tend to her garden and enjoyed cooking. The neighbours said this was the first time in recent memory that a murder had been committed in the area. They all said that the incident has left them in a state of shock and disbelief.
“You hear about people killing each other in other areas, in other parts of the country. But not here. Not here. This is just sad. The woman went looking to collect what was rightfully hers. This is so sad,” stated a neighbour. Insp Lawrence is spearheading investigations.