Body found in Queen’s Park Savannah identified

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

FOUND DEAD: Gabrielle Raphael. –

THE woman found dead in the Queen’s Park Savannah on Monday, has been positively identified as 24-year-old mother of five, Gabrielle Raphael.

Her father Anthony Castillo, speaking on Thursday at his Covigne Road Extension, Diego Martin home, said he was not initially concerned when she did not return home as she had a habit of spending time with friends without telling relatives.

Castillo said he last saw Raphael on Saturday afternoon when she left to take her one-year-old son to his father in Maraval. After leaving the child with relatives, she was never seen alive again.

Father of missing woman Gabriella Raphael looks at his national identification card while speaking with Newsday at his Covigne Road, Diego Martin home on Thursday. – Shane Superville

Her body was found near Peschier Cemetery at the savannah. Raphael celebrated her 24th birthday on Friday, the day before she went missing.

Her body remained unidentified up until Thursday when a relative visited the Forensic Science Centre, St James and confirmed her identity.

Castillo said confirmation that the body in the savannah was his daughter had left him deeply shaken.

“The last I saw her was when she left to drop her one-year-old (child) by his father and come back. We never saw her Sunday, we never saw her Monday.

“Gabby was like that…she will go today and you won’t see her in the night. You will see her about two or three days after. She had friends who she will link with and sleep by and then she would come back.

Anthony Castillo the father of missing woman Gabriella Raphael wipes tears from his eyes as he speaks about the last time he saw his daughter. – Shane Superville

“I didn’t make myself worried because they (his children) are big. We thought she was going on her normal runs and she would come back when she felt like coming back.”

Castillo said Raphael’s five children range in ages from one to seven. Castillo said Raphael’s mother died of an illness several years ago.

Asked if he and other relatives ever warned Raphael about the dangers of leaving home without telling anyone where she was going and for how long, he said, “It was a waste of time telling her that. She was a May born and they can be very hardened. They are stubborn.”

He said he did not know if Raphael attended the Redemption 8 reggae concert on Saturday night as she only spoke about dropping her son off by his father.

He said he was unable to visit the Forensic Science Centre on Thursday as he was unwell. Another relative went and made the positive identification. Her autopsy is still to be done. Investigations are ongoing.