Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : October 25th 2016 Contents A9
Tuesday, October 25, 2016 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
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On Sunday, Mark Sookdeo and his wife would
have celebrated 12 years of wedded bliss.
But with Ria gone without a trace for the past 32
days, Mark woke up that morning alone in his marital
bed.Ria, a hairdresser, was abducted by two masked
men after dropping her children off to school in Debe
on September 22.
Mark told the T&T Guardian yesterday that Ria
was making plans for a family visit to Tobago the
day before she was taken.
"We had plans to go to Tobago for our anniversary
because we went last year as well, she was trying to
organise the accommodation the day before she went
missing," he said.
"She told me she had called Coco Reef and enquired
about booking the rooms."
But with Saturday marking one month since Ria
has been gone, Mark instead spent Sunday cleaning
and painting the inside of her salon.
"I know she will appreciate having her salon cleaned
and painted, so I spent my day doing that instead."
The couple s two children, Ellena, nine and Torres,
seven, assisted Mark.
"They spent most of the day helping me, Torres
had asked to go for a drive but we don t really go
anywhere anymore and Ellena is still scared to go
out, so we stayed home."
Mark said Ria s red Nissan X-Trail SUV might be
released by police sometime in the coming days.
"I don t really care if I get it back or not...It s the
driver I want back, they could keep the van."
He is appealing to anyone with information to
contact the San Fernando CID at 652-2564 or Crime
Stoppers at 800-TIPS or any police station.
"If someone can come forward with information,
we could be one step closer to bringing Ria home."
Since her abduction, police released sketches of
two men who they believe snatched Ria. One of the
sketches showed one suspect wearing what appeared
to be a police cap. The two men who snatched Ria
were dressed in what appeared to be police tactical
The black Nissan X-Trail which was used by the
abductors has not been found.
Husband spruces up Ria's salon
anniversary all alone
Radica Rampersad has been sit-
ting in her neighbour s front yard
for the past week, waiting for dark-
ness to conceal the ruins that were
once her home.
Only when she can no longer see
the charred remains of her life s work,
then Rampersad will turn in for the
Rampersad, 53, says she and her
family were fortunate to get a place
to stay at her neighbour s house after
their Retrench Village home was
burnt flat by fire on October 9.
But the heart patient is now
appealing to Government for assis-
tance in rebuilding her home as she
said some members of her family
have to sleep on the ground or outside
Rampersad; her husband, Michael,
63; her son Rishi, 21; her daughter
Sarika 25; Sarika s son, Satyam, 2;
and Sarika s husband, Muhammed
Ali, 37, lost all of their belongings in
the blaze and are now homeless.
In an interview with the T&T
Guardian, Rampersad said her family
is barely able to find food on a daily
basis as they struggle to piece their
lives back together.
"Things are really hard for us right
now, we are struggling every day to
find something to eat," she said.
"Every day it s like a new worry to
take on...I would be grateful for any
assistance that we get."
She said although the family has
found temporary lodging with a
neighbour, the space is limited. Some
members of her family sleep on the
"This is the only place that we got
to stay and while we are happy to be
together as a family, my son and son-
in-law have to sleep on the ground
because it doesn t have enough bed
She said a meeting with Member
of Parliament Dr Roodal Moonilal
seemed to go well but she must now
wait to see if it bears fruit.
"We got a quotation to get some
material from Dr Moonilal. He was
very understanding and promised to
help but he too has to raise the funds
to give to us."
She sent out appeals to Housing
Minister Randall Mitchell and Prime
Minister Dr Keith Rowley, saying,
"We are appealing to those in high
offices to give us some assistance,
please. Mr Prime Minister, please
help me and my family."
The family also approached the
National Commission for Self-Help
for assistance and has been in touch
with the Ministry of Social Services
to get clothing.
Anyone wishing to assist the family
can contact them at 683-8345.
Fire victims seek
An undated photograph of Ria Sookdeo and her
Sketches of suspects.
We had plans to go to Tobago for our
anniversary because we went last year
as well, she was trying to organise the
accommodation the day before she
went missing. She told me she had
called Coco Reef and enquired about
booking the rooms.
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