PH driver kills pupil

– then commits suicide

(Trinidad Express) – Driven out of his mind by an obsession over a teenage schoolgirl, a 27-year-old PH driver beat her to death and then drank poison, police said on Tuesday.

Churamen Ramsaroop, who was also a farmer, was found dead near his tractor in a field off Carlsen Field around 4.30 pm on Monday. He had picked up the schoolgirl earlier Monday outside her Arena Road, Freeport, home to drop her off at school.

A soft drink bottle containing a weedicide was found near his body.

And 15-year-old Zareen Ansana Mohammed, who kissed her mother goodbye and entered Ramsaroop’s 280C car that morning, was discovered around 7.30 am on Tuesday. Her hands and feet were tied with shoelaces, and her head bashed in, police said. She was wearing her school uniform.

Taxis, both legitimate and PH, have been linked to several unsolved cases of missing women in Central Trinidad and police said there is growing evidence of one or more killer drivers.

Ramsaroop was hired to take Mohammed to the Carapichaima West Second-ary School. He picked her up around 6.30 am on Monday, but she never arrived. And when she did not return that afternoon, her parents began searching for their only child.

Relatives denied that they were involved in a relationship.

They believe Ramsaroop, who lived a short distance away along Arena Road, Freeport, was seeking a relationship with Mohammed, who refused. A kitchen knife was found in Ramsaroop’s car, police said.

Mohammed’s uncle, Hafeez Ali, said: “We went by the man’s house and found the car. His mother said he came home and picked up the tractor and left to go to the garden. We checked the car and there was blood on the dashboard and on the seat. So we went to the garden and saw him lying near the tractor.”

A massive search followed, including police, relatives and villagers, but Mohammed was not found.

It was farmer Dipnarine Ramsaroop, who was walking through a dirt track in a forested area near Carlsen Field on Tuesday morning, who found the girl’s body.

“I knew they were looking for the girl, so when I saw her I knew who it was. Her face was covered in blood and she was wearing her school uniform,” he said.

Investigators said an autopsy revealed that she was raped, beaten and choked.

Shabhan Mohammed, the girl’s father, is the driver for Justice Carlton Best, relatives said.

“The father was at work when we called him and told him his daughter was missing and he came same time and started looking for her. She is a well-mannered child and is always supervised. Her mother placed her in the taxi and watched it drive off,” Ali said.

Her mother, Zoreena, had to be consoled.

Tarandath Ramsaroop said his brother was not involved in a relationship and was trusted by villagers to take their children to school.

“He was a good man and I cannot begin to understand what happened. My mother called to tell me the girl’s family came by us to look for her.

“And when I came home, the tractor was gone, so we started looking in the garden for him because cars cannot go there. And we found him dead, so I don’t know what happened,” he said.

Ramsaroop said his brother plied his car from Arena Road to St Mary’s Junction, Carapichaima, and had no previous convictions.

“I never heard anyone say anything bad about him, so when I heard this it was unbelievable,” he said.

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