Even though 2017 ended with 193 murder files on his desk, among them that of Rachael Ramkissoon, the investigator into the schoolgirl’s death is adamant he would solve the case. Sgt Anil Maharaj of the Homicide Investigations Bureau (Region II) in Arouca, who is leading the investigation, also said the case is neither closed nor cold. January 13 marked a year since Ramkissoon’s murder.
Maharaj was asked for an update on the case as Rachael’s grieving parents Toba Ramkissoon and Catherine Nicholas, along with her grandmother, Kamla Ramkissoon, sought answers on the first anniversary of her death as to why someone would take her life.
The North Eastern College student was on her way to school when she was strangled and her body, fully dressed in uniform, was placed face up on a grassy surface in some bush in the district. Several people were questioned, but no arrests were made.
Maharaj said he has encountered numerous hurdles and challenges, including the community’s overpowering silence.
But he vowed, “I have very high hopes of solving this murder.” He said this is one of 193 murder files on his desk that he has been examining from time to time to see what clues he might have missed.
He said he and his team have an impressive homicide solve rate, with numerous matters now before the courts, but this one is baffling, and while some of the other murders had labels, such as being drug- or gang-related, there is no known motive for Ramkissoon’s killing. “It was the first homicide in that region for 2017 and we ended up with 193, with a solve rate of just under 33 per cent, which is kind of world-standard, but I am not satisfied with it,” Maharaj said.
He said he considers every investigation important, as all the victims were somebody’s relative, friend, brother, sister, son or daughter.
“My function here is to investigate homicides. I do not discriminate, I do not place them in any order of priority, because the same way Ramkissoon’s family needs satisfaction and closure, it is the same for the family of the other victims.”