Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : December 12th 2015 Contents A7
Saturday, December 12, 2015 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
There was not even standing room
outside the Cunjal Road, Barrackpore,
home where the funeral service took
place for drowned brothers Ricardo
and Raphael Rambaran, yesterday.
Hundreds of mourners turned up
to bid a final farewell to the brothers
who were said to be well loved by their
friends, relatives and neighbours.
Among those who gathered were
students from the Barrackpore West
Secondary and St Stephen s College
who wept uncontrollably as they said
a final farewell to their friends.
Pastor Junior Clarke from the Church
of Christ Princes Town officiated at
the funeral service, held at their grand-
The students who wore T-shirts
with the faces of the boys on the front
and the words, "In loving memory of
Raphael and Ricardo," printed on the
back also sang and paid tribute to
The St Stephen s football team also
placed a football covered with their
initials in team-mate Ricardo s white
coffin. They also carried his coffin to
the hearse after the service. Raphael s
coffin remained closed, due to the
decomposition of his body which was
found days after he drowned. A huge
picture of him was instead placed on
top of the coffin.
Their cousin, Amanda Rambaran,
also dedicated a special song to her
Following the service at the family s
home, a music truck led the procession
to the Barrackpore West Secondary
School where a short stop was made
to accommodate peers who could not
make it to the funeral.
The bodies of the brothers were later
cremated at the Shore of Peace cre-
mation site, Mosquito Creek, La
Raphael, 16, a student of the Bar-
rackpore West Secondary School, and
his brother Ricardo, 15, a student of
St Stephen s College, both disappeared
under water while bathing during a
family outing at the Balandra beach
last Saturday. Another relative, Quinn
Garcia, 33, who also went under water,
Ricardo resurfaced minutes later but
he was already dead.
Baby Khristha Knutt s mother,
Tiffany Rawlins, was released
from police custody on Thursday
night, but did not attend her
daughter s funeral yesterday.
She was not mentioned except
during angry outbursts by relatives
Khristha, who would have
turned two in January, was struck
on the head and electrocuted, in
what police described as a botched
attempt to resuscitate her, after
she was found unresponsive by
relatives on Monday.
Khristha s mother along with
her boyfriend, a 32-year-old Coast
Guard officer, and two relatives
were detained by police.
The Coast Guard officer up until
late yesterday evening remained
in police custody and is represent-
ed by attorney Israel Khan, SC.
An autopsy by forensic pathol-
ogist Dr Hughvon Des Vignes
revealed the toddler died from
head injuries and electrocution.
While the two relatives were
released, one on Tuesday and the
other on Thursday, Rawlins attor-
ney Fareed Ali served a writ of
habeas corpus on the Office of the
Commissioner of Police and the
Office of the Attorney General,
challenging the continued deten-
tion of his client.
Ali said the mother of the child
had been unlawfully and wrong-
fully kept against her will without
any reasonable or probable cause
and added that she should be
He raised concerns that Rawlins
would miss her daughter s funer-
al.Despite being released at around
9 pm on Thursday night, Rawlins,
who spent five days in police cus-
tody, was not seen at Saint Rose
Funeral Services Chapel in Tuna-
Instead, Khristha s father, Ernest
Knutt, cried inconsolably and had
to leave the chapel during emo-
tional outbursts, returning
Pastor Brian Hutchinson, a close
friend of Khristha s father, who
presided over the funeral service,
asked the mourners to show sup-
He called on anyone wishing to
show support for Knutt and his
family to say a few words.
Friends and relatives spoke
about a sweet and smart child who
was loved by her father and by all
the people she came in contact
Relatives spoke about asking for
custody of the child, who died just
over a month before her second
birthday, and made curious ref-
erences to her well-being while
Hutchinson said he was certain
that there were questions which
needed to be answered but asked
the mourners to leave it up to God.
"Leave everything in God s
hands. What has to be worked out
will be worked out. There is a say-
ing what in the dark must come
to light. You can run but you can-
He advised the relatives to
reflect on happier days with the
"In God s timing you will be
vindicated. He is still well able to
make wrongs right."
Knutt s mother, Desiree, was
the second to have a loud, tearful
"I told Tiffany to give me the
child and if she had done that then
today the child would not be dead.
"I begged her and she never
gave me the child. I begged her.
I beg and I beg," she said.
Kristha s maternal grandmoth-
er, Marlene Rawlins, was one of
the many people who called for
justice following the child s death.
Several other relatives expressed
similar sentiments, claiming that
they had asked to be given the
child but were ignored.
Many seemed to view the child s
death as avoidable and the chapel
was filled with an underlying ten-
Police are still investigating the
circumstances surrounding the
toddler s death.
Ernest Knutt, left, bids farewell to his 23-month-old daughter Khristha during her funeral service at Saint
Rose Funeral Services Chapel, Bazilon Street, Tunapuna, yesterday. PHOTO: ABRAHAM DIAZ
Mother absent from
Boyfriend remains in custody
Students weep for
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