Family of dead woman seeking answers 3 years later

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Shannon Whyte –

AS the family of Shannon Whyte continues to search for answers about her death, which they believe to be a murder, acting head of Homicide Snr Supt Sean Dhipaul says Whyte case is an unclassified suicide pending a final report.

July 1 marked three years since the 29-year-old mother of one was found dead with a single gunshot wound to the head in a barrel filled with water at the home of a close male relative in Mon Repos, Morvant.

Speaking with Newsday on July 4, Dhipaul said, based on preliminary reports, officers have treated Whyte’s case as a suicide.

“The report has not been completed. But for now, it is being treated as a suicide. The investigation is still open, awaiting the full report from the doctor.”

On June 28, Newsday spoke to Whyte’s brother Zion Edwards who described her as a loving and spirited woman and called her nine-year-old daughter the “apple of her eye” and a “mommy’s girl.”

Shannon Whyte –

He described Whyte as someone who loved to eat, dance and have a good time.

The 25-year-old Army officer said his niece shares many similar and loving traits with her mother, which is bittersweet.

“Almost everything she does reminds me of Shannon: her attitude, her smile, everything. She is a mini-Shannon.”

Edwards said the family is still struggling to deal with her death and describes memories of her as beautiful, emotional, and painful.

“We visit her grave and light candles. It’s just really difficult because of how it happened.”

Edwards said the last police update the family was given categorised Whyte’s death as a murder, but he believes his family will get no justice.

He urged women to be careful whom they choose as romantic partners and stressed that men need to find healthier ways to express themselves.

“If she were here today, she would have been the best mother she could have been.”

Whyte’s mother, Veronica Whyte, said she has also been finding it difficult to cope with her daughter’s death and the only way she can make it through the day is by consciously deciding not to think about it.

She said the police are doing “absolutely nothing,” and every time she inquires about it, she is given a “runaround.”

Shannon Whyte –

Veronica said she has forgiven anyone involved in her daughter’s murder but does not wish to have any conversation with anyone responsible for her death. “I can’t walk around with this hate in my heart.”

She described Whyte as the life of the party and a light in any room she entered.

“She was just a free-spirited child.”

Veronica expressed regret for not having a more open relationship with Whyte and urged parents to listen and keep the lines of communication open with their children. “If I could do it over again, I would listen to her.”

Through it all, Veronica said she has learned forgiveness and has put her trust in God.

An autopsy on Whyte’s body in July 2021 concluded she died from a single gunshot wound to the head, raising questions about whether it was self-inflicted. The male relative in whose home Whyte’s body was found was questioned by police and released.

Homicide investigators and pathologists can determine whether someone’s death was a murder or suicide, depending on the angle of the bullet wound and its trajectory.