Relatives of 38-year-old Ramcumar Bandhoo who murdered his girlfriend, 47, at Mynderse Street, Schenectady, United States acknowledged that the two were having a rocky relationship and said he wanted to move on.
Reports are that Bandhoo, also known as ‘Naresh’ of Edinburgh, East Bank Berbice stabbed the woman, Rafeena Rahaman, of Line Path, Skeldon around 1.25 pm on Thursday and then used a rope to hang himself.
His mother, Chanranie Bandhoo told Stabroek News she was saddened that the relationship ended so tragically. She said she learnt that the two would always fight and be separated but only for a short time.
She said too that her son was in the US illegally and that whenever they fought she would threaten to report him to the immigration authorities.
Eventually, she said, her son was fed up with the threats and decided to return to Guyana in July. He also planned to move on with his life and had even found a new partner here.
According to her, he was planning to purchase a car and start a hire service. She said that the woman kept calling him every day and begged him to return but he ignored her at first.
Eventually, after a month when Rahaman called again she told him she was only joking about the threats and told him she “really loved him and could not do without him…” She even made arrangements for him to return “backtrack.”
That call, Chanranie recounted, changed “everything” and even though she, his father, his two sisters and his three daughters – Kesha, Cynthia and Nickita – begged him to stay, he insisted on leaving.
What made it worse for the family was that one of his daughters was getting married two days after the date set for him to leave.
According to her, the woman also spoke nicely to her on the phone and told her that everything would be okay with her son. Chanranie even tried to ask her to come and get married to him so he could get his papers.
Although she was sad and scared to let him go again illegally, his mother was relieved when he arrived safely in the country. She lamented that Rahaman “put him out about six times. They were big people; you mean they don’t know how to live?”
His sister, Sumin Persaud told this newspaper that most of the fights were over an alleged involvement between Rahaman and her ex-husband, Imran Alli. She feels also that could have sparked the tragedy.
She pointed out that when he came to Guyana he showed her a cell phone with all the text messages that the woman and her ex-husband were sending each other. The fights also occurred because he “had to send money for his children.”
Chanranie described her son as a “loving and hardworking” person and was a bit “spoilt because he was the only-son.”
Meanwhile, a Times Union report quoted authorities as saying that Bandhoo fatally stabbed Rahaman multiple times and cut her throat, then hanged himself with a rope in the closet of a second-floor apartment.
Relatives told Stabroek News last evening that police discovered the bodies in the home shortly after receiving a report that Bandhoo had entered the woman’s home with a knife.
They said too that the two, who had constant domestic rows that would end violently, were together for a few years when Rahaman migrated to America.
They pointed out that she had two children from her previous marriage and that she spent last weekend in New York to attend her son’s wedding. This, they assumed, must have gotten Bandhoo even more jealous because he know she would meet her ex-husband there.
Alli spoke with FOX23 News, saying he may have been the last person to talk with Rafeena before she was killed.
“I am still in shock. I talked with her ten minutes before she died,” Alli was quoted as saying by FOX23 News. He said Rahaman called him at 9.30 Thursday morning, saying she was fighting with her boyfriend.
At 1 pm, she called back and told him her boyfriend got in the house. “I told her to call the cops and I would call her back and we would see about things, but I never heard back from her,” Alli said.
Police say at about 1.30 officers responded to several reports of a man with a knife. When they showed up at the home, they had to force entry and found two people dead inside, one of whom had been stabbed.
Alli said there was a history of domestic violence between Rafeena and her boyfriend. “Just last week he threatened her and told her not to call the cops and said it was him or the kids,” he said.
Alli described Bandhoo as jealous and possessive and said she was trying to get out of the relationship and move back to New York City. “I think that was the confrontation today, he wanted one last chance and she agreed,” he said. “He told her he loved her, but what kind of love is that?”
Meanwhile, the Times Union reported that a neighbour, who declined to give his name, said he had let Rahaman use his cell phone around 1.25pm on Feb 15 to make an emergency call after she dashed from her house in only her nightgown, frantically screaming, “Somebody help me, he’s going to kill me.”
His wife, who also refused to give her name, said Rahaman always kept to herself. “She was a very sweet person and didn’t bother anybody,” said the neighbour.
The couple told the newspaper that Bandhoo had left by the time police responded but that they saw the man back at the home days later. They said Rahaman told them he grew angry when she told him she planned to go downstate to visit her children. As a result of the altercation, Bandhoo was charged with unlawful imprisonment and menace but was released on bail by a city court judge, authorities said.