Woman knifed to death by ex in Mahaica murder-suicide

A young mother of two was yesterday morning stabbed to death at Belmont, Mahaica, East Coast Demerara, by her estranged husband, who later ingested a poisonous substance and succumbed.

Dead are Deomattie Persaud, called Kalvina, 23, who was a housewife, and Bishwanie Maraj, 43, a farmer and fisherman, of Lot 34 Belmont, Mahaica, who carried out the attack in front of his yard around 9.30 am.

Maraj succumbed sometime around 4.30 pm, a relative confirmed.

The couple had been together for eight years but Persaud recently moved out of the home.

Police, in a statement, said Persaud returned in a taxi yesterday to take the children to school and was attacked. “…the suspect pulled her out of the car, stabbed her multiple times about her body, returned to the house and drank a liquid substance from a bottle,” the statement explained.

Shamdai Punu, Persaud’s mother, was trying to make sense of the tragedy in the aftermath yesterday.

The woman, who appeared to be in a daze, recounted that she was in disbelief when she was told what had happened.

“When me get the message, me nah believe. I was at work when I get called and them said she dead but me nah believe…,” she recalled.

She explained that after receiving the message, she hurried to the scene, where she found her daughter’s lifeless body on the ground, covered by a sheet.

Punu explained that her daughter had moved out of the house approximately a month ago and was staying with her sister at Leonora, West Coast Demerara.

“She come back yesterday to collect them children in a taxi, and from what the taxi driver tell we, is that Bishwanie pulled her out of the car and stabbed her,” she recounted.

According to Punu, the driver attempted to save her daughter but he failed after Maraj turned and attempted to attack him.

“He [the driver] said he had to run because Bishwanie tried to stab he too,” she explained.

Neighbour Aubrey Mayers said he heard a commotion and upon checking he saw Persaud being attacked.

“I go over and try to assist and pull him away and he left and go back in the yard and lean a bottle to his mouth. I was trying to assist her but same time I see he lean something to his mouth and I ran in the yard behind him but he done drink it,” a visibly-shaken Mayers said.

The man said that he had previously heard quarrels between the two. “I tried to do my best as a neighbour. They would quarrel but I never see if he beat her or anything. You would hear them quarreling. Only the other day, I talk to him about his life and things like this happens… What happen today is just sad,” Mayers lamented.

‘Never was a violent person’

Another neighbour told this newspaper that she was shocked by Maraj’s actions, since he was a pleasant person. “He grow up in front of me. He never was a violent person. He don’t drink and behave bad. He is a mild child. Me ain’t know him like this,” the woman said.

The woman, who did not want to be named, said when she heard the screams, she thought one of the children had fallen into the trench. “When I run out now, whatsoever happen done happen and I see the boy in the yard and somebody said she lie down on the dam,” she said.

When Stabroek News visited the community yesterday, family members of Maraj gathered at his home and were trying to understand the turn of events.

A sister, Shantie (only name given), related that no relative was present at the time of the stabbing.

Asked if the couple was known to have disputes, she responded in the affirmative and she noted that Persaud had previously moved out.

“Them two does separate and she would always come back home. I don’t know what happened this time. We heard she left him and went with another guy, we saying that probably triggered him off,” the sister commented.

Although the two had separated, Shantie said they kept in contact with each other.

According to Shantie, her brother and Persaud shared an eight-year relationship and their union produced two children, who are ages seven and five. She, however, noted that her brother had two other children from a previous relationship.

Persaud’s mother, however, said her daughter moved out a month ago.

“This is nah the first time she moved out… she does move and go back but this time she moved out with her clothes. She don’t ever come by me when she get problems. All she does do is call and say that she left him and I should not go,” Punu related.

“I used to send her to the market and that is how them two relationship started. He [did] see her at the market years ago. She was about 15 then,” the mother added.

The two children are currently with their mother’s sisters.

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