Relatives of murder victim Ashma Naimool are praising officers of the TTPS’ Cold Case Unit (CCU) for solving her murder.
Crying as she commended the officers for their unwavering support and hard work to solve the case, a member of Naimool’s family cried as she said, “When we lost our faith...they gave it back to us.”
Naimool, who was 32 at the time of her disappearance, was last seen leaving her Tacarigua home with a male friend on June 3, 2015. However, the beautician never returned home.
Although a missing person’s report was filed at the Arouca Police Station the next day, Naimool was never found nor was her body ever located.
Rajendra Rampaul, 38, of Plum Mitan Junction, Biche, appeared before Port-of-Spain Magistrate Maureen Baboolal-Gafoor charged with her murder on Monday. He was remanded in custody and will reappear on December 19.
When Guardian Media contacted Naimool’s family on Tuesday evening, they requested some time to internalise the latest developments.
However, a female relative who requested anonymity explained, “Today (Tuesday) is a very auspicious and emotional day for all of us…this was seven years ago.”
She said they were grateful for the effort of the officers.
“Hats off to the CCU. They did what they said they would do and this team was an extraordinary team. It was well instructed. They were well disciplined. They were very thorough, and I pray for them. I pray that they excel in everything else that they intend to do for the rest of their lives.”
She added, “They were more like people and not like officers…so we thank them for their patience, their loyalty, their understanding…and the public who assisted all the units involved in the investigation.”
The woman described the CCU team headed by Sgt Sheldon Narine as “young, fresh and mature.”
“I am not a person who has much faith in young people, but I was blown away by their maturity, the way they handled us, the way they were patient, the way they were kind, the way they were understanding…it was more than just being officers, they were human beings.”
Also commending the CCU and HBI officers was acting Police Commissioner Mc Donald Jacob, who said, “I am confident that a former trickle will turn into a steady flow of solved murders, as we continue to invest in training and development, thereby building a cadre of technically competent detectives, who will be assisted by using scientific approaches and technology to solve homicides.”
The closure of the case brought to 19 the number of murders so far solved by officers of the CCU and the Homicide Bureau of Investigations (HBI). The TTPS said approximately 25 people have been charged with murder since October 16.