Autopsy: T&T schoolgirl strangled, struggled with attacker

Rachael Ramkissoon

(Trinidad Guardian) An autopsy on the body of 16-year-old schoolgirl Rachael Ramkissoon yesterday revealed that she was strangled.

Her killer used a thin cord-like “device” to strangle her around the neck, according to the findings of pathologist Hughvon Des Vignes.

Rachael Ramkissoon

There was no evidence of Ramkissoon being sexually assaulted.

However, there were similar cord-like marks on her left forearm and right wrist, which suggested that she attempted to fight off her attacker, police said.

Yesterday at the Forensic Science Centre in St James, Ramkissoon’s relatives were unwilling to talk to the media and directed all questions to the police.

The girl’s grandmother, Kamla Ramkissoon, hit out at comments on social media which were disturbing and pleaded for the negativity to stop.

Even as the family were finalising funeral arrangements, president of the Brazil Village Council Candida Pataron last night called on emergency meeting with its 15-member executive, to discuss Ramkissoon’s murder.

Pataron said the council and the community was saddened, distraught and concerned with what had happened at the beginning of a New Year.

“It has thrown us in a state of shock and fear. It is a concern for us because we all have children who travel to and from the area. The situation makes you afraid,” Pataron said.

Pataron said among the issues they intended to raise at the meeting was lack of public transport and what measures they want instituted to protect and safeguard the residents, in particular, women.

“Definitely what happened on Friday will be discussed. This is of importance to us,” Pataron said.

Last Friday, Ramkissoon was found face up, in the forested Balata Trace in Arena, a mere ten minutes drive from her home.

She was dressed in her uniform of the Northeastern College. Ramkissoon, a Form Five student, missed the bus and it is believed that she may have arranged for a taxi to take her to school.

For months, Pataron said the community have seen a proliferation of PH taxis operating in the rural and far-flung community.

“We also have the concern with a few new drivers who see the trade as a lucrative business. These drivers we are not aware of. This is what we intend to look into. We need to address the issue of the PH drivers because the legitimate taxis having been kicking up a fuss.”

Pataron said no one knows for sure what vehicle Ramkissoon took on that fateful day.

“The information we are getting is still sketchy and cloudy. People are saying that Rachael would not have entered a car she was not familiar with. This lead to the question…who do we have on our roads? It could be somebody we accustomed seeing all the time who had done this act. It is one thing to say it is a stranger or a PH driver…if it is someone we know… how do you deal with that?”

In the coming days, Pataron said they will have a general meeting with villagers to discuss their biggest concern – lack of public transport.



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