Farida “Suzie” Ramdeen, 20, of Vreed-en-Hoop Squatting Area (The Jetty), West Coast Demerara was found dead in a Houston, East Bank Demerara trench early yesterday morning and her husband is the prime suspect.
Ramdeen’s reputed husband allegedly told relatives that he had killed his partner and after his arrest allegedly directed police to her body.
His sister, Sean Williams reported, had marks of violence about the body. The woman’s reputed husband, Williams further said, is currently in custody at the Ruimveldt Police Station. This has since been confirmed by a senior police source.
Williams further said that his sister had a wound to one hand and the area around one of her eyes appeared to be bruised. Ramdeen, according to him, was dressed in a blouse and skirt.
Ramdeen, other relatives told this newspaper, had been involved with her alleged attacker for about six months. The woman, according to them, had moved in with the man (who is in his mid 20s) at his Pouderoyen, West Bank Demerara home. The man, relatives and Pouderoyen residents said, has a violent disposition and often hit Ramdeen.
When Stabroek News visited the Vreed-en-Hoop Squatting Area home of Ramdeen’s maternal grandmother the woman burst into tears. Bibi Khan, also known as Gladys Ramnarine called Auntie Baby, told Stabroek News that Ramdeen grew up with her.
The woman’s parents, Khan said, died when she was very young. Khan, 77, took care of Ramdeen and her other siblings. “She use to live with one ah she brother in de front house,” Khan said pointing to a small wooden structure located a few feet from her own shack. “But that one brother dead about three months now and since then she move and gone and live with (name of reputed husband). She use to live with de buddy but she use to come over by me and sleep plenty.”
Khan explained that she was first told that her granddaughter had been killed on Saturday night. Some time after 7pm, the woman recounted, she returned home from a neighbour’s house where she had been watching death announcements. The woman said that shortly after, a woman, who she identified as a cousin of Ramdeen’s reputed husband, came calling for her.
“She tell me that a next one ah dey cousin call she and tell she how [name of accused] tell them that he kill Suzie,” the woman said. “Was she [the cousin] who set Suzie and de boy up.”
Her granddaughter’s reputed husband, Khan said, was subsequently taken into police custody and allegedly told them that he had taken Ramdeen to the bridge by the Houston Side Line Dam where he assaulted her and then dumped her overboard.
Police along with older brother, Sean Williams and the cousin of the accused went to the location late Saturday night, Khan recounted. However, the area was too dark and the search was called off until daylight hours. Williams and the cousin, the woman said, returned to the area early yesterday morning.
Williams later said that when they arrived at the Houston location police had not yet reached the area so he and the cousin started to search. Williams said he barely saw his sister’s hair floating in the water.
“Is na easy lookin’ at something like that,” he stated. “After that de police and de parlour people come in. Later on when I went to de station de man [the accused] start hollering telling me that when de police loose he then he going to deal with me next.”
“…he is a violent man…”
Karen Williams said that she last saw her sister alive last Sunday. Ramdeen, she recounted, visited her on Mashramani day and returned a few days later.
She and Ramdeen, Karen said, would normally talk and from time to time her sister would tell her that her reputed husband was hitting her.
“I tell she one time that she mustn’t let no man knock she. I tell she to come and stay with me for a while and punish he lil bit but she never come,” Karen said. “Is that same cousin … set de two of them up but he is a violent man. He mother dead like three months back and he used to beat de woman.”
The accused, according to Karen, was released from prison just over six months ago. Karen said that the man had served a sentence for maliciously wounding a Pouderoyen woman with a broken bottle. Several weeks ago, she further recounted, the man had also threatened to beat an older man in the Vreed-en-Hoop area.
Like her grandmother, Karen said, she too learnt of what had happened to Ramdeen from the cousin. The woman said that she was told that her sister and her reputed husband left their Pouderoyen home for Georgetown.
“…he stationed in Georgetown right now so he tell them that he de carrying Suzie to stay with he auntie in Georgetown,” Karen said.
However, the couple never went all the way to Georgetown. Karen said that she had learnt from the man’s cousin that he stopped at Houston and forced the woman to walk with him to the Side Line Dam where he allegedly assaulted and killed her.
“This man does smoke and drink so me na know if he de high or so when he attack she,” Karen said. “I know that dem two de catching case about some other boy that one ah he cousin de had she talking to…my sister was a sweet, sweet woman. She had a lil mind problem but she never use to freak out or nothing like that.”
“Meh struggle fuh grow dem…”
One Saturday several weeks ago, Bibi Khan said, Ramdeen came to her house and brought some cosmetics. Khan said that she had not seen her granddaughter for more than a week when she came to visit.
“Well somebody de tell me that she staying in Pouderoyen and when she come me ask she wa she doing there and she tell me how she tek this boy. So when she tell me that me tell she that she na shoulda tek a husband yet because she can’t cook and so properly.”
However, Khan said her granddaughter refused to return home. The woman said that the girl had been living with her for more than a decade. “Meh daughter de get sick and she dead and then dem children father get murder at Anna Catherina so dem lef’ with me.”
Khan further recalled that she had told her granddaughter that she had to go to the hospital to have her eyes looked at. Ramdeen had promised to accompany her and was supposed to visit her home yesterday so that they could make arrangements.
Three months ago when Ramdeen’s brother died, Khan recounted, she had to walk the streets and beg for money to bury him. “Meh struggle fuh grow dem and now me get old me still got hustle for a living,” the woman said between sobs. “Me na know how me go get money fuh bury she [Ramdeen].”
The woman further stressed that she hopes to see her granddaughter’s reputed husband behind bars. “Me got to get lil justice fuh this thing…me got to get justice,” she lamented.