The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

A FAMILY’S GRIEF: Relatives of the four murdered Peterkin siblings speak to police outside the family’s home in La Retreat Ext Road, Guanapo on September 21. – FILE PHOTO


The child and three teens shot dead in Guanapo last Thursday will be sent off in a closed-casket funeral on Friday because their bodies have begun to decompose.

The news has meant the Peterkin family has had to change plans for the funeral after their children died in the quadruple murder.

Those killed were Faith Peterkin, ten, Arianna Peterkin, 14, Shane Peterkin, 17, and Tiffany Peterkin, 19. Their funeral will be held at 2 pm on Friday at Allen’s Funeral Home in Arima. Their bodies are now at this funeral home.

A well-placed source told Newsday that the bodies were so decomposed that the funeral home had no choice but to seal the caskets for the ceremony.

The father of the dead children, Shawn Peterkin, learnt what had happened to their bodies on Tuesday when he went to identify them at the Forensic Sciences Complex (FSC) in St James before their autopsies, six days after they were killed. The autopsies were done on Tuesday and showed all four died from injuries after being shot multiple times.

“When they buss open the (body) bag with the children in it – if you see the children. They actually getting blue. They rottening. They smelling stink. They stink up the whole building,” he told Newsday.

He said learning of the decomposition of the children’s bodies added insult to injury for his family.

“I wouldn’t like a next family to go through that kind of problem,” he said.

“That’s slackness. What really happening? They come and slaughter my children and them for no reason, now…they leave the children them to rotten. They could have put them in some kind of ice or some kinda thing.”

He said the closed-casket send-off now robs his family of the opportunity to say their last goodbyes to the children.

“I was saying I would have seen my children for the last time, give them a little kiss self for the last time.

“But I can’t do that,” he said.

“This (the murders) ain’t really making no sense…I ain’t really do nothing to deserve this kind of treatment. My family ain’t do anything to deserve this. My children ain’t get a chance to enjoy life.”

He said the family was yet to get an explanation from the funeral home for the state in which the bodies were received. But he said the family will be seeking redress once the funeral is behind them.

Peterkin said the bodies were in the custody of Dennie’s Funeral Home before being taken to the FSC and subsequently handed over to Allen’s.

An official of Dennie’s, who wished to remain anonymous, confirmed the bodies were in its custody but denied the decomposition occurred under the company’s care. He said the claim was a rumour spread via a social media page, and lawyers are working with police to take action against the page’s administrators for the allegations.

“If in fact, the family says the body has started decaying or whatever the case is, I can surely say that Dennie’s funeral home is not responsible for that,” he said.

The official did not confirm whether the bodies were in a decomposed state or point fingers to indicate where this might have occurred.

However, he told Newsday to consider the time the bodies were removed from the crime scene, the time they were picked up by the home from the Arima General Hospital, the time they were escorted to the FSC on Tuesday and the time they were taken to the new funeral home.