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Sunday 15 July 2018
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Suspect in La Brea killings still at large

Michael Scott

THE latest search for the suspect in Tuesday’s brutal murders of four people in La Brea came up empty-handed.

Yesterday south-western police received information that the lone suspect was in Icacos, Cedros. Police swooped down on the area but after searching left without arresting anyone. Despite the lack of luck, police vowed to continue their nationwide search.

Since the murders, officers have raided homes in Gonzales Village on the outskirts of Point Fortin. Police also believe the suspect may be in hiding in east Trinidad.

Opposition Senator Gerald Ramdeen who was fishing in Icacos yesterday said villagers received reports the suspect was in the area trying to flee to Venezuela.

“At about 9 o’clock we got information that the suspect in the murder of the four persons was in the vicinity of Icacos, going to different persons asking for assistance to try to go across the border. He apparently had no finances to make the trip. He changed his clothing, disguised himself first with a blue overall then he changed. He (the witness) immediately contacted the police who dispatched officers down to the area. They went down to a house where he was making inquiries and, therefore, the police are now trying to capture him,” Ramdeen said in a CNC 3 interview last night.

Abigail Chapman murdered in La Brea

The suspect previously shared a relationship with one of the victims – Abigail Chapman, 42, a mother of three. He is the father of two children, from a previous relationship.

The other victims are her daughter Olivia, 15, and Oliver’s schoolmate Michaela Mason, 14, also called Tina. The fourth victim is her landlord, Michael Scott, 69, also called Scotty, a retired secondary school history teacher. Police made the horrific discovery on Tuesday night at Scott’s home Kanhai Settlement, Sobo Village, La Brea.

Chapman was a Spanish teacher at the Southern Academy of Seventh Day Adventists in San Fernando. The girls attended Point Fortin East Secondary School and were close friends. Mason, also of Sobo Village, was overnighting at the house.

Just five days before the massacre, Chapman made a domestic violence report to La Brea police against the suspect. Following news of the murders, relatives accused police of failing to arrest the man considering the initial report. On Friday, three officers – Sgt Rosalie Joseph-Taitt, Cpl Virendra Ramlal and WPC Nailah Homer – were suspended with immediate effect pending the outcome of an investigation.

Both the Law Association and the T&T Coalition Against Domestic Violence called for a full investigation into the Police Service’s handling of the complaint. The association said reports of domestic violence must be taken seriously and acted upon.

Leader for the Movement for Social Justice David Abdulah extended condolences to the families saying he was a schoolmate of “Scotty.”

Scott last taught at San Fernando Central Secondary, popularly called Modsec.

Abdulah recalled back on February 16, 2006, he delivered a lecture on globalisation to form six students at the school. This after Scott asked him to do so.

People who knew Scott also praised him for his kindness. Former students said he was instrumental in getting the steelpan into the school.

His love for the national instrument did not stop at school, he was an assistant manager of NGC La Brea Nightingales Steel Orchestra. From 7 pm last night, the band was expected to pay tribute to Scott at the panyard at Tantie Park, Point D’or.

The event included prayers, musical tributes and special memories of Scott.

Several Facebook users thanked the “respected educator” for his contributions to the art form. One user, Israel McLeod, posted: “Thank you, Mr Scott, for your decades of service to the steelpan and, the MODSEC Community.”

Funeral arrangements are tentatively set for Tuesday for the mother and daughter as well as the friend. Relatives from abroad are expected to visit the country to make funeral arrangements for Scott.

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