Five Rivers residents call for death penalty as girl, 4, decapitated

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Police cars on a crime scene. – File photo by Jeff K Mayers

“Bring back the death penalty,” urged the neighbour of a four-year-old girl who was decapitated at her Five Rivers home.

Around 10 pm on Monday, Ishana Mohammed was getting ready to go to sleep when she was alerted to shouting coming from a nearby home.

Speaking with Newsday on Tuesday morning, Mohammed said, “My mother went to the back of the house to bring the dog in front. She started to hear shouting while in the back and asked me to come listen.

“I went but brushed it off because the man (the child’s mother) with is strange. I’ve never heard no cussing or abuse from him before, but I just left it and walked back to the front of the house.”

There Mohammed heard the mother scream, prompting her to go back.

“I bawled out her name because in case he was doing something to her, he would stop because he knew someone was listening because I thought he was hitting her.”

Mohammed tried calling the Arouca Police Station, but there was no answer.

Meanwhile, the child’s mother had escaped and went to the Arouca station to report the incident. She returned with police officers PC Reid and WPC Mohan, who, noticing the house was in darkness, called out to the man.

A man came out of the house in a black three-quarter pants.

The mother and Mohan entered the house to search for her daughter and found her lifeless body.

Mohammed said, “While calling 999, I saw (the mother) running towards me holding her face like someone hit her in the face, screaming, ‘He behead my child!’”

Mohammed recalled feeling frozen on the spot while the mother cried hysterically.

The child was pronounced dead by the district medical officer.

“They found the headless body on the floor. The head was found later that night in a barrel when more police was called.”

The suspect was detained and taken into police custody.

Mohammed described the four-year-old as quiet.

“She loved playing with my cats and my daughter. She was always hungry and always coming to me for snacks. “I don’t know what could have possessed him to do this.”

She said it was time to reimplement the death penalty.

“It’s the only way to deal with this. No one cares about each other any more.”

The house, almost swallowed by overgrown trees and vines, stood silent along with the rest of the neighbourhood in the aftermath of the previous night’s events.

With parts of the roof missing and broken windows, mismatched fabrics sewn into curtains fluttered in the breeze.

Describing the community as traumatised, another resident said women must beware of men who prey on their vulnerabilities.

“Women must be more discerning of the people they get involved with, particularly if you have children. There are men who promise you the world and then take away your freedom, your voice and you can’t get out.”

The resident called for a spiritual intervention to help end the threat of crime and violence in TT.

“This evil is plaguing the land. Pure evil. TT is in dire need of spiritual intervention. We need to wake up.”