|WE ARE HORRIFIED |
By LAUREL V WILLIAMS Sunday, February 7 2016
The relatives of Che Callender, the suspect in the sexual assault of a five-year-old girl, are today doubly distressed, reeling from his apparent suicide and from the horror of his other side which led to him being labelled a sex predator.
Additionally, he was the father of two children, both of them in the age range of the infant girl who was the victim of his recent horrific assault.
“I cannot account for his actions,” his distraught father, Franklyn Callender, a retired police constable, told Sunday Newsday yesterday.
“He was a well-disciplined son and had a good upbringing. I was not aware of the relationship he had with the woman or knew exactly where he was living.” The father, like other relatives at the family home at Gajadhar Lands, Princes Town, yesterday was in shock and disbelief over the stories surrounding Che and his ultimate end.
Callender recounted that he and the rest of the family had been reading about the sordid affair not knowing that Che, his son, was the suspect.
“In the Thursday’s Newsday newspaper, I read that the alleged offender was from Princes Town and was 31 years old,” Callender recalled. “My mind clicked because he came home on Monday and said he was not going back.” The father recounted that Che visited his home on Monday morning last vowing not to return from where he came. It was last Sunday, the day before, that he fled the home of the mother of the fiveyear- old following the discovery of the lurid contents on Che’s mobile telephone.
On Wednesday morning, Callender said he dropped Che off in the heart of Princes Town and that was the last time he saw his son alive.
“Che was not living here,” Callender told Sunday Newsday. “He came, spend some days or weeks, and then we would not see him for months. I will call him from time to time. But since Thursday he stopped answering his phone. He acted normal. He was very quiet because he always kept to himself.
He never told us much. I cannot be responsible.” Che was found hanging by his neck from a rope tied to a mango tree near Navet Public Cemetery at Cemetery Street, off Lotians Road, Princes Town, on Friday afternoon. Police found a laptop strapped to his stomach, and up to yesterday officers from the Cyber Crime Unit were continuing a meticulous examination of the contents of the machine.
Che became a fugitive after the confrontation with the five-yearold’s mother after her relatives found on his cellular phone, video and photographic images of the child engaging in sex acts with him.
It was also revealed last week that Che was on $100,000 bail, after being charged in 2010 with the rape of a 50-year-old woman, stealing three DVDs and a Nokia cellular phone, and wounding.
These matters are still pending in the Princes Town Magistrates’ Court. He was also an ex-solider and a father of two children, ages eight and five.
Callender recalled that Che’s life took a different turn a few years ago when he went to live on his own.
“Since he met certain people, his life changed drastically,” the father said. “He started to stay away from work at the army. Once I went and carried him back in camp. Eventually they give him 47 days prison in the army. He was such a good soldier they decided to keep him.
But then he wrote them a letter stating he wanted to leave in 2007.
Che was not violent. He was a good tiles man, very neat.” The mother of Che’s two children was also visibly distraught yesterday, saying it was a blow to her family. She had learnt only hours earlier that he was the man suspected of committing the heinous act on the five-year-old girl.
“Only this morning when I read the article, I knew he was the man police wanted,” she said. “I do not know why he committed suicide until today (Friday last).” She remembered that in the early part of January and also for Christmas, Che came to look for his children. She said he was good to them.
“Che was quiet,” she recounted.
“You could have ask him ten times to do the same thing, and he would not have complained.” The woman admitted that though the relationship ended a few years ago, he always treated his children well. Like his father, the woman said she was not aware of his addresses or with whom he had a relationship.
Reports are that last week Sunday, the victim’s mother with whom Che shared a relationship, discovered the video of the child engaging in oral sex with Che whom the infant affectionately and trustingly called “Uncle”. The child’s hysterical mother confronted him and showed him the video.
Che ran out of the woman’s house in Rio Claro and never returned.
Officials from the Trinidad and Tobago Defence Force were unable to provide any information about Che.
An autopsy is expected to be performed on his body on Wednesday.