(Trinidad Express) More than 300 relatives, friends and schoolmates of Nikita Ramischand took cover below tents amid pouring rain yesterday to say their goodbyes to the 18-year-old who was killed almost a week ago.
Ramischand’s killer remained on the run in Guyana up to press time last night.
The teenager’s full name was hardly used yesterday as to everyone gathered she was known simply as Nikki.
Ramischand, a second-year accounts student of the School of Business and Computer Science (SBCS), was stabbed to death last week Wednesday night at the Maracas Valley, St Joseph, home of her father, attorney Odai Ramischand.
Her killer, a 27-year-old Guyanese national, reportedly left Trinidad aboard a Caribbean Airlines flight that night, nursing injuries he sustained when he jumped over a wall into the St Joseph river as he made good his escape.
The emotional scenes in Ramischand’s funeral yesterday were many. Nikita’s father, Odai, came close to tears as he spoke to the mourners about protecting their children.
His eyes appeared bloodshot and he looked exhausted.
He recalled that over the weekend he checked his cellphone and saw his daughter called him moments after she had been attacked. He said he did not answer her call that night as he was driving.
“When my daughter was in danger the first thing she did, almost as an instinct, was pressed her daddy’s number,” said Ramischand, whose voice cracked as he told the story.
“I did everything in power to protect my kids and it was that one unguarded moment and a criminal came and snatched my daughter away from me,” he said.
“I just want to send a message to each and everyone of you parents here. What happened to my daughter can happen to you but those criminals must not bring pain to families,” he said.
Nikita’s brother, Siddhartha Ramischand, recited a poem he wrote for her, while one of her sister’s, Samantha, recalled how close they were.
“Nikki, you meant the world to me. You were my therapist and best friend. You were the best company one can ever ask for. You were loving, caring, cheerful and supportive and you had so much planned for your life but despite our loss, despite you not being here, you will always be my little Nikki,” said Samantha.
Nikita’s uncle, Anil Nandlal, who is also Guyana’s Attorney General and Legal Affairs Minister, spoke to reporters during the funeral. He said so far Guyanese authorities were unable to track down the suspect.
“The homes of his friends and relatives are being monitored and they have locked all exit points out of Guyana and he is blacklisted so he cannot travel,” he said.
Speaking to reporters around 2.30 p.m. yesterday, Nandlal said, “I have just made contact with the Crime Chief in Guyana and they continue to have the police on patrol, looking and monitoring the places that he is likely to be. But unfortunately they have not been successful in the arrest but they continue to monitor the places they suspect he will show up.”
Nandlal acknowledged, however, that Guyana “is a huge place with thousands of miles of un-monitored border with Venezuela, with Suriname, with Brazil”.
“But I have every expectation that the police in Guyana will find him,” he said.
Detectives from the Homicide Bureau in Trinidad have since gone to Guyana to assist their colleagues in finding the suspect.