Relatives in custody as girl, 4, raped and buggered to death
BY RADHICA SOOKRAJ
In a horror story reminiscent of the Sean Luke killing in March, a four-year-old girl was brutally killed on Monday night.
Amy Emily Annamunthodo had been raped, sodomised, beaten and suffocated at her home at Union Park, Marabella.
A suspect, said to be a village badjohn, and his common-law-wife were in police custody last night.
Police believe Emily, as she was called by relatives, had been locked in a room and a piece of cloth was stuffed into her mouth to muffle her screams as she was raped and buggered.
In fact, an autopsy conducted yesterday evening by Dr Hughvon des Vignes revealed death was due to multiple traumatic injuries about the child's body.
The report said there were abrasions in the child's mouth, while her hymen and anus had been ruptured.
Neighbours said that at around 9 pm on Monday, they saw a woman wrap the child in a white towel and quickly walk away. Moments later they saw a man leaving the house.
It was not until yesterday morning when the police went to the house did they learn that the child had died.
Police investigators said the child's 19-year-old mother had taken Emily to the San Fernando General Hospital, but when they got there the child was already dead.
Hospital authorities who observed bruises on the body immediately alerted the San Fernando police. When the police got there, the woman had disappeared.
Investigations led police to Emily's Marabella home yesterday morning and the subsequent arrest of a couple.
Emily's death came nearly two months after the slaying of six-year-old Sean Luke, a US citizen of Carapichaima, who had been buggered with a cane stalk. The boy had been missing for three days before his body was found in a canefield near his home in Orange Valley on March 28.
Two teenagers have been charged with Luke's murder and are facing trial at the Couva Magistrate's Court.
The suspects in Emily's killing are expected to be charged with murder today.
Grandma cries out for justice
Chanardai Basdeo, grandmother of murdered toddler Amy Emily Annamunthodo, said yesterday she had no idea the girl was being regularly molested.
Admitting, however, that the child sometimes had bruises, Basdeo said she still felt shock knowing the baby had been tortured to death.
Basdeo said she had been caring for Emily since birth. She turned four on May 7.
"I work all over the place and mind that child. I gave she everything she wanted. I work as a domestic servant for people, and my heart ripping out to know what happened with that child," Basdeo said, weeping.
She said one year ago she fell ill and went to stay with a relative in Longdenville.
She said Emily had been hospitalised. However, two relatives filed for custody.
"She was an angel. Maybe she gone to heaven now." —RS
Death ends year of sex abuse
NEIGHBOURS said the killing of Amy Emily Annamunthodo was the tragic end of a year of sexual abuse the child had endured.
Yesterday, they told reporters the girl had lived with her grandmother Chanardai Basdeo, 57, at Andre Avenue, until the woman fell ill about a year ago.
They said the abuse started after the child returned to Marabella to live with her mother and her de facto husband.
They said three months ago the child was rescued by the Community Police and taken to a safe house. But the child was eventually returned to her mother's house, they said.
Neighbours surrounded the house as the couple was led away into a waiting police car.
Among them was Ryan Hernandez, who said only last week he witnessed the child being tortured at the hands of a man.
Hernandez said he saw Emily fall down the stairs and cry.
"I saw him pushing her and heard him saying, ‘Get up, girl! I say get up!'"
He said Emily suffered a dislocated shoulder after the fall, but was not taken for medical attention.
Hernandez said he remained silent because the man was violent. Some time ago, he said, the man had publicly stripped a woman naked and dragged her through the streets.
On another occasion, he said, the man body-slammed a woman onto a wheel barrow, before throwing grass on her body and threatening to set it afire.
Another neighbour, who asked that his name be withheld for fear of reprisal, said it was not uncommon for Emily to be left locked in the house in the dark.
"That child suffering from malnutrition," he said.
"I used to hear her crying because she was afraid of the dark.
"I used to feel sorry for her. But the man never wanted her to speak with anybody. Look the child dead and gone now."
Another neighbour broke down in tears on hearing the cause of Emily's death, but said:
"I am not mourning her death. God take she back. She safe now.
"She was an angel and those demons that kill her will face punishment at God's hands."
©2005-2006 Trinidad Publishing Company Limited
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