TRINIDAD-Family of five missing
PORT OF SPAIN –– Police continued their search in Brasso Seco for a missing family of not four as earlier believed, but five, while four men, believed to know where the people are, were detained by investigators yesterday afternoon.
Those missing include Irma Rampersad, 48, her daughters Felicia “Chinky” Gonzales, 17, a student of Malabar Secondary School, Jenelle “Cookie” Gonzales, 19, and granddaughter Shania Amoroso.
Investigators on the scene confirmed they had extended their search to include a fifth relative. They did not want to give much more information, other than that he was a man and was
52 years old.
When the Express visited the area yesterday afternoon, a search party comprising eight police officers and seven soldiers, along with sniffer dogs, combed the steep hills surrounding the Brasso Seco home of the family, but they had no luck.
However, officers said they received information about “four men of interest” and detained them yesterday afternoon.
They were being questioned by officers when the Express arrived and they all appeared to be quite afraid while being interviewed by the police, who eventually left the area with
the four men.
All four appeared to be below the age of 30.
Officers would not say what was their connection to the missing family, but confirmed they were all from the area.
Last week, 26-year-old Nicole Gonzales, the fourth daughter of missing mother of seven, Irma Rampersad, told reporters that she believed their disappearance was connected to the murder of fellow villager Phillip Noriega.
When the Express visited the family’s home in Brasso Seco on Friday, Nicole Gonzales told the media that her family had received death threats following Noriega’s death last August.
“There was a murder recently and someone from the village said my mum was the closest to where that happened, so they thought that she would have seen or known something, because they say the killer would have had to pass by us to reach the gardener [Noriega].
“Soon after that I received threats on my life and they said they would even hurt my mum and my children. My mum [Indra] said, ‘Doh stay in the house by yourself’; so we went to stay by some family and we made a report with the police, but I couldn’t stay away forever. This is my home. So after some time when things died down we came back and now the four of them gone missing,” said Gonzales.
She believes the two incidents could be linked.