TRINIDAD – Teen killed
14-year-old witness to contraband deal brutally murdered
PORT OF SPAIN –– Forced to go into hiding after witnessing a contraband deal, 14-year-old Darian Nedd finally met his death yesterday, after two men chopped off his limbs with a cutlass and then set fire to his home, leaving him to die.
The Form One student of Red Brick Trace, attended the Siparia East Secondary School. His charred, dismembered body was found around 12:30 a.m., amid the ruins of the wooden house. His right foot and left hand were missing. It is uncertain whether he was still alive when the house was set on fire.
Up to late yesterday, police had held a 25-year-old man for questioning. They were also searching for two other suspects. Investigators said Nedd had an ongoing dispute with some men who accused him of being an informant.
Nedd’s mother Christine, who sells oysters at Otaheite Junction, said she was not at home when the fire started. Christine said she made several reports to the Oropouche police, begging for assistance to save her son.
However, police never arrested the suspects. “My son hiding for months now. He went to live with [name called] but because he had school he came back last week,” Christine said. She explained that hours before his death, Nedd cut the grass around their home and played marble pitch.
“He was happy. We didn’t think this was going to happen,” Christine said.
She explained that Nedd loved to fight with his seven-year-old sister Victoria Pekhoo. “Yesterday was the only day I did not quarrel with him. He used to be there, helping me with the oysters. Now he is gone,” Christine said, as tears ran down her swollen eyes. She said around midnight when she finished work, she got news that her home was on fire.
Her cousin Mitra ran to the house and called out to Nedd but it was only when the flames subsided that they found the body.
A witness, who requested anonymity, said two men were seen throwing flambeaus inside the house which is situated off a bumpy track at the end of Red Brick Trace, behind the SM Jaleel factory. A blood-stained cutlass was also seen at the side of the house but this was hidden before the police came, the source added. Neighbours said they did not know what happened as they were not at home. Nedd’s elder sister Kristie Benjamin said they made several reports of threats to the Oropouche police.
“Now everyone is living in fear. My brother was like my child. I used to do everything for him when he was a baby,” Kristie wept. Detectives from the South Western Division Task Force yesterday combed through the Otaheite region, searching for the suspects. The police helicopter was also used in the search.
An autopsy will be done at the Forensic Science Centre in Port of Spain today.
Investigations are continuing.