By LAUREL V WILLIAMS and RALPH BANWARIE Friday, January 31 2014
JUST what would possess someone to savagely beat, strangle and then dump a young woman into the trunk of her own car, leaving her there for several days? How can a human being be so cruel, so heartless as to beat a pregnant young woman so savagely that in her death throes, she spontaneously aborted her seven-month-old foetus?
These are the questions facing relatives of Vijaya Dubay-Ramrattan and Iemeliha Goumelle, the country’s sixth and seventh female murder victims out of a grand total of 45 persons murdered so far this year.
In the first incident, shortly after a male relative of Dubay-Ramrattan went to a police station and lodged a Missing Person report, the partially decomposed body of the 32-year-old nurse was found in the trunk of her Hyundai sedan on the compound of the Barrackpore Police Station.
Police investigators said Dubay-Ramrattan was a mother of one who lived at Wilson Road, off Clarke Road Penal. Dubay-Ramrattan, whose daughter is four, last worked at St Ann’s Psychiatric Hospital and also worked at a private health institute in Port-of-Spain.
On Wednesday at about 3 pm, a male relative of Dubay-Ramrattan who is a former policeman, lodged a Missing Person report at St James Police Station. The man, who is now self-employed, told police he last saw Dubay-Ramrattan on the night of Thursday January 23, when she left Penal in her car.
The man told police after she did not return home over the course of several days, he decided to visit her workplace where he learnt Dubay-Ramrattan did not report for duty for several days.
Police officers in St James told the man to go to the Barrackpore Police Station and lodge a similar report. The 33-year-old male relative arrived shortly before 10 pm on Wednesday at the Barrackpore Police Station to make the report.
At about 2 am yesterday, while the relative was still in the Barrackpore Police Station, officers received information that Dubay-Ramrattan’s blue Hyundai Elantra (PCY 6133) car was spotted in the public car park of the San Fernando General Hospital.
Barrackpore police went to the hospital and towed the car, which was locked, to the said station. At 4.30 am, police and crime scene investigators, having obtained a spare key from Dubay-Ramrattan’s male relative, opened the trunk and found her partially decomposed body stuffed inside.
Investigators said Dubay-Ramrattan was clad in a pink nightgown and her body bore several marks of violence. The male relative was immediately taken into custody and up to press time, was still assisting police in their investigations.
The woman’s body was removed from the police station and sent to the Forensic Science Centre, St James where an autopsy yesterday done by Dr Hughvon des Vignes revealed Dubay-Ramrattan died as a result of strangulation and blunt cranio-cerebral trauma.
Speaking briefly to the media, Dubay-Ramrattan’s mother called for justice for the death of her daughter. “I want justice. That is all. She didn’t deserve this at all. She was a hard-working person who gave her all in everything she did be it as a mother right down to her job,” Dubay-Ramrattan’s mother Rehana said.
“She was a brilliant person. She was pursuing a degree in nursing and in a recent exam she earned top results for the entire Caribbean in that exam,” the weeping woman said.
She said Dubay-Ramrattan was a registered nurse who worked for the last ten years at St Ann’s Hospital. Rehana said Dubay-Ramrattan worked side jobs in the nursing field to help provide for her family. One of the part time jobs was at the Community Hospital of Seventh-day Adventists in Cocorite.
“She was a nurse. That was what she loved to do. She was dedicated to caring for the sick. If she wasn’t at work, she was at home taking care of her child and studying. She never used to go out and lime. The police need to find who did this to her,” Rehana said.
Barrackpore detectives and Southern Division Homicide Bureau officers are continuing investigations.
In the second incident, Eastern Division police were yesterday baffled as to the motive behind the gruesome murder of a 21-year-old Youth Training and Employment Partnership Programme (YTEPP) student and her unborn child whose bodies were found at the woman’s apartment home in Sangre Grande.
Police officers including Inspector Wayne Doodhai, Sgt Harper, Cpl Jones, PC Sankar and WPC Joseph went to Shepherd Lane, Coalmine, Sangre Grande, after tenants contacted Sangre Grande police indicating there was a foul stench coming from one of the apartments in an apartment complex.
Officers who entered the apartment where the foul stench was emanating from, recoiled in horror when they discovered the semi-nude body of 21-year-old Iemeliha Goumelle on the ground. Near the young woman’s body was a foetus.
Police sources told Newsday that there were clear marks of violence about Goumelle’s body leading them to believe that as she lay dying after being beaten, Goumelle’s body spontaneously aborted her seven-month-old foetus. Because of the advanced state of decomposition, police officers could not ascertain the gender of the foetus. Police sources said Goumelle could have been dead in the apartment for about four days.
Police sources said Goumelle’s landlord contacted the police after receiving complaints from tenants about the foul stench. Goumelle’s body was found on the floor in a bedroom inside the apartment.
Relatives who were contacted by police said that the last time they saw Goumelle alive was on Sunday. Newsday was told by police sources that Goumelle’s mother is out of the country as she is said to be working on a cruise ship. It was not known if up to press time, Goumelle’s mother was aware of her daughter’s death.
District Medical Officer Dr Okolo viewed the bodies and ordered them removed to the Sangre Grande District Hospital’s mortuary. Goumelle’s body and that of the foetus are expected to be taken to the Forensic Science Centre, St James where an autopsy is expected to be done today to ascertain cause of death. No arrest has been made and police have no motive behind Goumelle’s killing. Eastern Division detectives are continuing investigations.