Relatives of Joanna Díaz, the Venezuelan migrant whose decomposed body was found in a latrine behind a house in Preysal earlier this month, are anxious for T&T’s borders to be reopened so that her ashes can be returned to her homeland.
Her body was cremated following a funeral service at the JE Guide Funeral Home and Crematorium, in San Fernando, on September 10. Relatives hope to take her ashes to her mother, in Tucupita.
Díaz was last seen alive at around 4 pm when she left her home to fo to San Fernando. The 33-year-old’s family began to worry when she did not return home and could not be reached on her cell phone.
Eight days later, on September 5, the family’s worst fear materialized when the police called to inform them that Díaz was dead. Her ex-boyfriend led officers to the place where they found the body in Santa Clara, Preysal.
Calvin Bahadur has been charged with her murder.
Díaz came to T&T after starting a relationship with a man she met on Facebook. In early 2019, he bought a ticket for her and her 13-year-old daughter to travel from Tucupita by boat to the Trinidad. However, the relationship ended in February of this year.
“She walked away from that man a long time ago. We knew about the harassment, but we did not think that he would be capable of this monstrosity, or anything we learned about from other people’s comments, ” said Karla Sánchez, Díaz’s cousin.
She said Díaz sent money to her mother in Venezuela and worked at a shoe store in Trinidad. In Tucupita, she was an employee of the Aníbal Rojas Pérez Bolivarian High School.
Yosse Cedeño, a friend of Díaz, said neighbours reported hearing a young woman’s screams from a house in Santa Clara.
“I posted some photos of her on Facebook because she was missing, and a girl who lives nearby told me that she had heard screams. I called her cousin immediately,” said Cedeño.
Relatives called the police
“They sent a unit but the police could not enter the house because they did not have a search warrant. If they had, they could have saved her,” said Cedeño.
In Tucupita, Yuraima Sánchez, mother of Díaz, appealed for help to locate her daughter, according to a report in El Periódico del Delta .
“The anguished mother, visibly exhausted by not being able to sleep during these eight days that have elapsed since the disappearance, asks the person who allegedly has her daughter in his power, to return her safe and sound,”wrote José Gregorio Ruiz.
However, on September 5 everything changed.
“The police called us and we went to Santa Clara. There were at least ten police patrols. Later, the coroner arrived and they took the body that was in a septic tank, ”said Sánchez.
The body was identified by a scar on the arm and an item of jewelry.