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Maraj suicide note helps police

Days of depression and boredom with life may have caused Taan Maraj, son of politician Ralph Maraj, to commit suicide by ingesting paraquat.

The ingestion of the weedicide was confirmed as the cause of death yesterday, following the results of an autopsy conducted at the Forensic Science Centre in St James by Dr Neville Jankie.

Detectives have also ruled out a report that Maraj had shot himself through the head.

Police said Maraj, who was found dead in a hotel room at the Hilton Trinidad on Sunday evening, wrote a two-page letter to his parents before he took his life.

In the letter, he told his parents not to blame themselves for his death.

Maraj said the decision to take his own life had been a personal one.

In the letter, Maraj also outlined in specific detail how his assets should be disposed of.

A syringe, a bottle of poison and the note had been found close to his body, after it was discovered by hotel staff around midday on Sunday.

A close relative said Maraj had been acting strangely over the past few days.

"He was having difficulty sleeping and he kept saying that he was bored with life. He said his life was not challenging anymore."

Police yesterday gave the suicide letter to Maraj's parents, who were both inconsolable.

His mother Sucilla sat on a chair clutching a photograph of him when he was five years old.

"This is my son. He was looking at his father perform that day and he could not take his eyes off his father. He loved his father so much," she said, weeping.

"My son was the most loving, wonderful human being I have known."

Brushing away a torrent of tears, Sucilla said she was proud to be Taan's mother and happy that she had been chosen to be a part of his life.

"I know that he has gone to a place where he will be safe and happy and I ask God to accept him because I know God was proud of my child and the way he lived," she said.

His aunt and former House Speaker Occah Seepaul, meanwhile, said her nephew was not dead.

"He has translated to another dimension where he is happy. He is not dead at all," Seepaul said, as tears ran down her face.

Maraj's funeral is expected to take place today.

A service will be held at Seepaul's house at Christian Street, San Fernando, following which his cremation will take place at Mosquito Creek, La Romaine.

Maraj was a former business writer for the Guardian's Caribbean Money Market Brokers (CMMB).

He was a student of Presentation College and an additional scholarship winner for the University of the West Indies in 1993.

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