It took the Ramdass family of Preysal, 19 days to accumulate enough funds to bring back the body of their loved one, Richie Ramdass, from St Lucia. Ramdass, 24, was shot dead while on vacation there on December 31.
His mother Nalinie Gopi, told Newsday the family had pleaded with the authorities to help them fly his body home, but received no assistance.
“It was very difficult for us to raise close to $50,000 to pay all expenses so that we can get my son’s body in Trinidad,” Gopi said, adding that on Friday they will finally be able to bid farewell to Ramdass at his funeral. Ramdass’ body is now at David’s Funeral Home in Couva and will be cremated at the Waterloo Cremation site.
Gopi said she had to make the trip to St Lucia herself to identify the body and sign various documents from the police there. “It was a most difficult journey to make with little money, but God is good and we are finally able to cremate the body.” She was shocked to learn her son had been killed, saying he was always a very pleasant person, willing to assist anyone. Ramdass was one of two men killed in a car on the St Jude Highway in Vieux-Fort. The other victim was Venezuelan Vincente Jose Mendoza Pacheco, 26. St Lucian police have since held two St Lucians for the killings.
Ramdass’ only brother, Ravi, 28, said, “It was no less than a nightmare that we have been experiencing since we got this news.” With a population of 100,000, St Lucia recorded 31 homicides in 2016 and a record 52 in 2017.