WHAT would drive someone to execute a man, his wife and her daughter? This is the question that is baffling police investigators and the victims’ neighbours. A passer-by found the bodies of 62-year-old Carmelita Garcia-Quintero, also called Ingrid, and her husband George Quintero, 53, in the family’s red Nissan Frontier van yesterday.
They were all shot multiple times. The body of Garcia-Quintero’s daughter, Marisol, 33, was in the back seat with gunshots to her head. The couple were contractors and the three lived together at Block 5, Plum Street in Palmiste.
A senior investigator described the killings as “puzzling.” He told Newsday that with no eyewitnesses so far and without any footage, police hope fingerprints will assist in solving the case. The triple murder was one of four incidents in which people lost their lives to gunshots between Sunday night and yesterday.
Police said at about 6.30 am, the pedestrian was walking on the shoulder of the southbound lane of the Solomon Hochoy Highway, near Golconda, when he saw the van parked with its headlights on. The front and back windscreens were partially shattered by bullet holes.
Quintero was in the driver’s seat, with injuries to the left side of his face. In the front passenger seat was the woman later identified as Garcia-Quintero, with a wound to the right side of the face.
Police from Southern Division, among them Snr Supt Zamsheed Mohammed, ASP Shereen Theodore-Persad and Cpls Narine Bisnath and Barry Bacchus, visited the scene, along with police from Homicide Bureau Region III, among them Supt Winchester, ASP Persad and Insp Corrie.
Police believe the trio were returning home, but did not know from where. As news broke of the triple murder yesterday residents of Palmiste expressed shock and horror and one man even cried as he spoke about the “nice and law-abiding” victims.
“You would never hear any quarrel or anything from that family. I could not believe it. The news was devastating. Up to now, I haven’t told my children because the news will hit them hard,” said a resident of Block 5. Garcia-Quintero has another adult daughter who lives elsewhere.
Quintero moved into the area years ago and was believed to be from Arima or somewhere in the east of Trinidad. Saying he was uncertain of the circumstances of the killings, the neighbour said if it was the result of a hijacking, Garcia-Quintero would have confronted the perpetrators.
“Gun or no gun, if someone hijacks Ingrid, she would tell them as it is. She had some strong beliefs and she would never tolerate wrongdoings. Illegal acts irritated her to her core. She would stand up for what is right,” the resident said.
He said the family was not known to stay out late. “It is likely they leave here yesterday (Sunday) and never came back home.” Newsday was told the family was returning home after watching a movie at C3 Centre in Corinth, not far from where their bodies were found, and Quintero reportedly parked on the shoulder in order to meet someone.