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MOTHER’S DAY MURDER

By RYAN HAMILTON-DAVIS Tuesday, May 13 2014

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WHILE mothers around the country were being honoured and feted by their relatives and friends on the occasion of Mother’s Day, a Kelly Village family was left in shock and deep mourning after the body of their loved one, mother of two Sylvia Candace Douglas Mohammed, 33, was found at her Kelly Village home with multiple stab wounds on Sunday.

Police sources told Newsday that at about 12.45 pm, Prisons Officer Quentin Lyndon Baptiste went to his sister’s home at Hydraulic Trace, after several attempts to contact her via telephone earlier in the day had failed.

When he arrived at the home of Mohammed, who worked at Unit Trust Corporation (UTC), Baptiste found her body on the floor in the bedroom. She had been stabbed several times.

Baptiste called out to Mohammed’s neighbour Police Constable Ragoobar who on seeing Mohammed’s body, immediately contacted the police.

“Right now, we are just trying to cope. I am trying my best to be strong for my mother and my family,” Baptiste said as he recounted to Newsday the horrendous ordeal of seeing his sister’s bloodstained body. He said this was the worst Mother’s Day ever for his family.

Baptiste said that from as early as six o’clock on Sunday morning, various members of his family had made several telephone calls to Mohammed, to wish her a happy Mother’s Day. Relatives were supposed to meet up to attend Sunday Mass. When efforts to reach Mohammed failed, other members of the family went to Mass without her. When Mass ended, Baptiste said, relatives resumed their efforts to contact Mohammed, but to no avail. Baptiste decided to visit his sister’s home to see why she was not answering her phone. On arriving, the first thing Baptiste noticed strange, was the front gate open.

“When I got into the house, I saw her handbag on the floor. I kept calling out her name as I began to look for her, but she didn’t answer. When I went upstairs to the bedroom, I saw my little sister...she was dead...lying in a pool of blood. I screamed out, calling for help. Her neighbour, Constable Ragoobar came to my assistance on hearing my shouts and it was he who called in the police,” Baptiste said.

Officers subsequently arrested a 42-year-old man who knew Mohammed and following several hours of questioning, he was released yesterday morning. Mohammed’s children, aged 11 and seven, were not at the house at the time of the discovery of her body. At the time of the discovery of the body, Mohammed’s 11-year-old, Newsday was told, was with her husband David Mohammed who had taken the youngster to football practice. The younger child was with other relatives and had attended Mass.

At the Forensic Science Centre in St James yesterday, several family members spoke about the range of emotions they were feeling which ranged from rage to pain and grief on losing their loved one — a mother on Mother’s Day — in tragic and violent circumstances.

“I can hear my baby sister’s screams, in my head. The pathologist told me she did not die instantly...she suffered,” cried Chemiene Baptiste, 47, as she wiped tears from her eyes. Chemiene who is the eldest of the siblings, recalled Mohammed as having a bright and bubbly personality. Another relative described Mohammed as a gifted person who was very intelligent. The relative added that even at a young age, Mohammed stood out academically and passed her Common Entrance exam (now known as the Secondary Entrance Assessment exam) one year earlier than the other students in the class. Relatives said Mohammed was pursuing a degree in Accounting at the School of Accounting and Management.

“We really don’t know how to deal with something like this. When crime hits home and you see it with your own two eyes, it is different from when you see it on the television. It is like being in the twilight zone or in a waking nightmare. You hope someone would pinch you and wake you up,” another relative said. Mohammed’s children are now staying at the home of other relatives.

UTC Communications Manager Rory Rostant expressed condolences on behalf of the corporation saying Mohammed was an employee for about ten years. “We are all saddened by the loss of Sylvia Candace Douglas Mohammed. She was a dear friend to many in the corporation and our hearts go out to her family. We express our deepest condolences to them.

Over the ten years that she was employed with the UTC, Mrs Mohammed was always a willing member of our team and her passing is being felt by all,” Rostant said.

Police sources said they are working on the theory that Mohammed was killed by someone whom she knew well as there were no signs of a struggle and the house was not ransacked.

Up to press time no arrest had been made and investigations are continuing.

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