T&T: 200 reported cases of missing women

Trinidad Express:-THERE have been more than 200 reported cases of missing women in Trinidad and Tobago this year.

And while a high percentage of these reports saw families being reunited with their loved ones, a number of people are still missing.

Police sources told the Sunday Express several of those missing are females between the ages of 12-40.

“The teenagers usually run away from home, following arguments with their parents, some run away to attend fetes or parties and spend a weekend with their friends.

“The parents, sometime knowing this, report them missing in a bid to have them return home,” a senior officer told the Sunday Express.

In some instances, police resources are stretched to locate these teenagers and women, the senior officer said.

But despite this, every missing person report is investigated thoroughly.

“Our recent reports have seen women leaving marital homes and it’s only when their pictures are publicised, they return home, saying they needed a break,” the senior officer said.

Citing the case of Heather Barriteau, who was reported missing by her husband Devon Paul on December 9, the officer said some women and teens are reported missing “as a way of embarrassing them and forcing them to return home.

“Many of the reports we take, the individuals omit to inform us of the circumstances which led to their loved ones leaving home,” the officer said.

Police reports had stated that a report filed by Paul indicated that around 11 a.m. on December 9, Barriteau, 35, a vendor, left her Sobo Village, La Brea home for San Fernando.

Barriteau, after four days returned home saying she “needed a break” and lied about being abducted.

Missing and murdered

On September 12, Lisa Matagoolam of West Macaulay, California was reported missing. Three days later she was found at the base of a precipice in Brasso Seco.

Police said Matagoolam, 34, a sales representative, was last seen alive on September 12, leaving her mother’s home at Milton, Couva.

She was picked up by a friend in a gold Nissan Tiida car at around 7 a.m.

Police indicated they were told that she was dropped off near Boomers on the Chaguanas Main Road, Chaguanas as she headed to work at Jesse’s Fashion Boutique.

She never came home and a missing person’s report was made.

Bank employee Shannon Banfield went missing on December 5.

Her body was found three days later in the IAM and Company warehouse at Charlotte Street, Port of Spain.

Banfield’s clothing was torn.

An autopsy conducted revealed she was smothered.

On October 8, the body of Vanessa “Buffy” Ackie, 28, from St James was found.

Ackie’s body was found down a precipice at Morne Coco Road, Petit Valley.

An autopsy revealed she died as a result of a broken neck.

Mother of three Hassina Khan was reported missing on January 12.

She was found buried in a shallow grave in a lonely area in California, Couva.

A suspect led police to the location where Khan, 41, was buried.

Still missing

The Homicide Bureau is continuing investigations into the disappearance of San Fernando businesswoman Carolyn Katwaroo.

Several individuals, among them a Southern businessman and his wife, were interviewed.

Katwaroo, 43, was last seen leaving her Block 5, Cedar Drive home in Palmiste, San Fernando at 7.42 p.m. on September 11, 2015.

Her vehicle, a white Mercedes Benz, was found abandoned on the road at Union Hall, San Fernando the following day.

Following her disappearance, a $100,000 reward was issued by her relatives for information.

And Ria Sookdeo, 34, of Raghoo Village, Debe, was abducted at the corner of Papourie Road and the Picton Estate Drive around 8.30 a.m. on September 22 this year.

Sookdeo, a hairdresser, was snatched after dropping off her children at their Picton Presbyterian Primary School.

She was grabbed outside the compound and bundled into a vehicle which sped off and has not been seen since.

While investigators have exhausted their questioning of several individuals affiliated to Sookdeo, police say they are following several pieces of information in a bid to find Sookdeo