PORT OF SPAIN –– Police believe a love affair gone sour led to the murder of a woman and the suicide of her lover in Bristol Village, Mayaro, yesterday.
Police said Toolie Ramdeen’s throat was slit by Andrew Vasquez in front of two infant children in her care before Vasquez drove his car into a Mack truck along the Naparima/Mayaro Road half an hour later.
Ramdeen, 47, also known as Tara, died on the spot while Vasquez, 73, of Piparo Village, succumbed to his injuries while receiving medical attention at the Mayaro Hospital.
The two children who witnessed the killing of their grandmother also had to be taken for medical attention and were said to be severely traumatised.
The T&T Guardian was told that Ramdeen, a Forestry Division employee, and Vasquez, a pensioner, had a relationship for 17 years.
Police reported that around 1:30 p.m. they responded to a call that a woman had been attacked by her lover at Bristol Village.
At the scene they found Ramdeen on her back in a pool of blood with her throat slit and the two children screaming with blood all over their clothing.
Ramdeen reportedly takes care of her two grandchildren, and at the time of her killing they were both playing with her downstairs the house. The children’s screams alerted neighbours, who rushed to their assistance.
One neighbour told the T&T Guardian that they had heard the two arguing and the children’s screams later made them realise something was not right. He said they subsequently went to the house and found Ramdeen bleeding from her neck and the two children screaming. They immediately called the police.
Ramdeen, a mother of five and grandmother of six who was working at a project at Mafeking Village, reportedly left work around 10 a.m. and was picked up by Vasquez in his Silver B15 car. They both then went to Ramdeen’s Bristol home and were sitting under the house with the children.
It is believed an argument started between the two and Vasquez took a sharp object and slit Ramdeen’s throat. He then got into his vehicle and drove away. About half an hour later it was reported that while Vasquez was driving his car along the Naparima/Mayaro Road, near Union Village, he drove into a truck that was travelling towards Mayaro.
Vasquez, who was trapped in his vehicle, was removed by other motorists and taken to the Mayaro Hospital by EHS ambulance where he later died.
Truck driver Anthony Ramdass said when he saw the car coming into his pathway he applied brakes to avoid the accident but the vehicle ran into his truck.
Police are of the opinion that Vasquez committed suicide by deliberately ramming into the truck after his attack on Ramdeen. The pensioner lived at Piparo Village and has a family, but frequented Ramdeen’s home often.
Ramdeen’s mother, Annie, said her daughter was very humble, hard working and loved her children and grand children. She said both Toolie and Vasquez died and probably “that was how it was supposed to happen”.
Ramdeen’s grieving children were too inconsolable to speak to the media, but family members said they were confused about what led to the killing of their mother.
Ramdeen’s co-workers, who rushed to the scene, could not believe she had been killed either, noting that a few hours before they were all having fun with each other. They said while Ramdeen was a supervisor “she was always jovial” and never made them feel uncomfortable, which motivated them to work and go the extra mile in getting projects completed.
Just before she left, she reportedly told her co-worker, “I am very happy to work with a nice bunch of people like you all. I am anxious to get home to play with my two little grand children. I will see you all tomorrow.”
Both Ramdeen and Vasquez bodies are to be taken to the Forensic Science Centre, St James, today for autopsies.
The murder toll for the year stood at 184 up to last evening.