Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : October 2nd 2013 Contents KEVON FELMINE
Two days after a couple entered the
country, their bullet-riddled bodies were
found in the Brasso Forest in central
Police last night identified the victims as
Jose Vasquez Marcano and Gladys Ortiz,
who were killed along the Brasso Piedra
Road, Flanagin Town.
Camera footage from Piarco Airport, which
was reviewed by investigators, showed both
victims arrived in Trinidad on Sunday from
Margarita, Venezuela. Police believe they
were Venezuelans but did not rule out other
Latin American countries.
Estate worker Kamal Mahabir found the
bodies yesterday, several hundred metres
into the forest.
"When I found her she was lying sideways,
like if she was brakesing from something.
The second one, he was just lying in the
centre of the road there," he said, as he
described the scene after he stumbled upon
the decomposing bodies.
Sr Supt of Homicide John Daniel said
Mahabir was heading to the Manchoon Estate
to cut grass when his dog Pressure found
the woman s body.
He contacted another worker and as they
checked further along the road, they found
the man s body.
The woman, dressed in a red T-shirt and
navy-blue jeans, had been shot three times
in her left shoulder and chest, while the
man, dressed in a blue T-shirt and navy-
blue jeans, had been shot six times in the
chest and head.
Police including Supt Harry, Supt Abra-
ham, Sgt Toolaram and Cpl Barrow found
several 9 mm shell casings and a grey Toyota
Corolla, licensed PBU 4473, near the body
with a suitcase in the trunk.
Officers said the car had not been reported
stolen. It was sent to a police forensic facility
in Cumuto for tracing. They suspect that
the killers were escaping in the car when a
tree fell across the roadway, blocking their
path. Several chop marks were found on the
The fallen tree caused a five-hour delay
in removing the bodies yesterday. Fire officers
had to cut the tree and a work crew which
was doing plumbing work at nearby Flanagin
Town had to be called in to use its tractor
to clear the roadway.
Crime scene investigators believe the vic-
tims were killed 16 to 18 hours before their
bodies were discovered, owing to the state
of decomposition. However, heavy overnight
rain washed away blood evidence.
Co-owner of the estate Dharmatie Maharaj
said no one had worked there on Monday
"We don t know the car, we don t know
the people who died," she said.
"This has never happened here before.
Usually the only thing you get inside here
is when people come to thief from you, but
killings, murders and those things, it is the
first time it has ever happened.
"We left for Port-of-Spain and our worker
was coming to the estate to work and when
he was coming the dog was barking at some-
thing on the ground.
"When he looked he saw a body and he
was saying, I see you, get up. The person
did not respond to him so he called us and
said he found a dead person on the estate.
"We made a report to the Brasso Police
Post and when we came in here, there was
a next body and a tree that fell next to that
The motive for the killings is unclear but
police believe the visitors were killed by
someone they knew.
Minimum wage still to be reviewed --- McLeod News --- Page A6
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From page A1
She said expedited files were passed to state attor-
neys very often, and this was unfair to the lawyers
and the DPP.
Another factor which hampered investigations and
could also result in cases being thrown out, Chote
said, was that there were no qualified attorneys in
the service, who practised criminal law, to advise
police during investigations.
"There are attorneys within the Police Service,
that s to say officers who studied law and obtained
their degrees. But to say that they are attorneys with
experience in the criminal practice is a different mat-
ter," Chote explained.
The capability of the police was also brought to
the fore, as Chote urged them not to be afraid to
investigate crimes with whatever depth and width
were required in each case.
"This requires some courage, as the investigations
may sometimes take officers to places where they
do not like to go," she said.
Chote said several years ago, the late Desmond
Allum, SC, advised criminal attorneys not to accept
cases in capital matters unless they had at least five
"Unfortunately, our number at the criminal bar
is so stretched that if we were to do that, then these
people would be without counsel."
She said what was happening was that attorneys
with less than five years, in fact, represented people
accused of murder at the magistrates court. The
accused, Chote added, then changed lawyers at the
trial stage at the High Court, which posed other
October 10 is World Day against the Death Penalty.
(See page A6)
All murder files reviewed
All murder files submitted to the Office of the
Director of Public Prosecutions are reviewed with
the investigating officers, a source at the DPP s office
Police are often directed to do further investigations
by obtaining statements from witnesses, or getting
corroborating evidence to support statements by
other witnesses. Even after someone is charged,
police continue to gather evidence against the accused.
In the majority of cases where people are charged
with murder, the magistrate hearing the case commits
the accused to stand trial before a judge and jury in
the High Court, on the basis of the evidence submitted
by the investigating officers.
Wednesday, October 2, 2013 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
Two visitors slain
in Central forest
for 01st OCTOBER, 2013
Kamal Mahabir, a worker on the Manchoon Estate at Brasso Piedra, explains yesterday
how he found the bodies of two foreigners believed to have been murdered shortly after
they entered the country. With him is his dog, Pressure, who discovered the first body and
led him to it. PHOTO: KRISTIAN DE SILVA
Cops, lawyers need
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