By NALINEE SEELAL Friday, October 11 2013
THE bereaved mothers of murdered Venezuelan couple Jose Marcano Gregorio and Gladys Ortiz Jesus, yesterday wept bitterly when they were shown photographs of their son and daughter by forensic pathologist Dr Valery Alexandrov.
At about 12.30 pm, Eleda Vasquez, mother of Gregorio, looked with deep grief at a photograph of her son while Valencina Diaz gave a positive ID through the photograph of her daughter Ortiz Jesus, also shown to her by Alexandrov, who performed autopsies on the bodies.
The two women were accompanied to the Forensic Science Centre in St James yesterday by officials from the Venezuelan Embassy. They were not shown the actual bodies of their loved ones.
Both mothers cried again when items of jewelry and other valuables, found on their bodies last week Tuesday, were shown to them by Alexandrov. The mother of Jesus held on to the jewelry, wept and said something in Spanish to Gregorio’s mother, who stood next to her.
They were also shown a decorative belt and a watch. Alexandrov asked the mother of Ortiz Jesus if her daughter had silicone implants in her breasts and the mother replied ‘yes’. Alexandrov had discovered the silicone implants as he was performing the autopsy. They also identified the clothing worn by the couple.
Alexandrov had a one hour meeting with the two mothers and later described them to Newsday as being quite distressed, emotional and shocked over the incident. An official of the Venezuelan Embassy acted as an interpreter during the meeting between Alexandrov and the women both of whom said they did not know that the couple had travelled to Trinidad on September 29.
After signing official documents at the centre, both mothers agreed to allow the cremation of the bodies at the St James crematorium this morning and they are expected to return to Venezuela late this evening, with urns containing the ashes of their loved ones.
Officials from the Venezuelan Embassy yesterday said they were assisting the bereaved women as much as possible in this difficult and sad time. The two mothers are staying at an undisclosed location for security reasons.
When Newsday perused Ortiz Jesus’ FaceBook page profile we saw a woman who was clearly family oriented as most photos posted were either of her with Gregorio or Ortiz Jesus with her three children.
Photos showed the young family enjoying a day at the pool back in their home in Carupano, Venezuela, Ortiz Jesus’ daughter kissing her stomach when she was pregnant and a proud Gregorio hugging Ortiz Jesus as they took ‘selfies’ (photos of themselves).
The last posting Ortiz Jesus posted on her Facebook profile was on September 29 — hours before she and her husband packed a suitcase and left Venezuela for Trinidad. In that Facebook posting, Ortiz Jesus paid an emotional tribute to her father, who apparently was shot dead six years ago.
“Today September 29, the day of St Michael, my beloved father was killed six years ago. Yet we have his presence with us. For this reason I ask readers (for) a moment of reflection on what we are experiencing in our country, thanks to this thing called revolution! It’s time to fight crime... every day there are more deaths. Each day more children become orphans with increasing impunity. This affects us all! Father, never leave my heart or my life. I will love you forever!”
The bullet-riddled bodies of Gregorio and Ortiz Jesus were found at the Brasso Piedra forest in Flanagin Town two Tuesdays ago — two days after they arrived in Trinidad from Margarita.
The two, who got married on July 27, were shot several times and their bodies dumped along a track which leads to a cocoa estate. A car, apparently used by the killers, was found abandoned near to the bodies. In the trunk of the car was a suitcase which bore a tag bearing Gregorio’s name. Police later detained a 24-year- old Longdenville man in connection with the two murders, but it was ordered that he be released by Deputy DPP South Joan Honore Paul pending further investigations.
Yesterday, Superintendent Cyril Harry who is leading the team of investigators probing the murders confirmed to Newsday the bodies had been positively identified and investigations are ongoing. Ortiz Jesus was a mother of three young children and worked as an orthodontist while Gregorio was a businessman.