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Friday 18 October 2019
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Suspect was ‘concerned’ about Rivers’ disappearance

Kenneth Toussaint grandfather of murder victim Chris Rivers,  greets Pastor Mervyn Rodriguez of the Dunamis Apostolic Evangelical Assembly outside the family's home in Rio Claro on Tuesday. PHOTO BY VIDYA THURAB
Kenneth Toussaint grandfather of murder victim Chris Rivers, greets Pastor Mervyn Rodriguez of the Dunamis Apostolic Evangelical Assembly outside the family's home in Rio Claro on Tuesday. PHOTO BY VIDYA THURAB

LAST Wednesday, when the country became aware that 24-year-old Chris Rivers had been reported missing, one man became so “concerned” that he contacted her mother to find out if the news was true.

The 27-year-old man was later arrested, and up to press time, he and his girlfriend remained in police custody in connection with Rivers’ murder.

Rivers’ mother, Roslyn, recalled: “He said, ‘Meh belly hurting meh.’ He wanted to know who said Chris was missing. So I asked him if he had her.”

The man, with whom Rivers previously had a turbulent relationship for four years, denied any knowledge of her whereabouts.

On Monday shortly after 11 am, the man’s new girlfriend led police to a forested area in Mafeking Village, Mayaro, and showed them where the missing woman was. Police found Rivers’ badly decomposed body. They believe she was strangled.

Rivers, who lived at El Guanapo Estate in Rio Claro, was last seen last week Monday at her workplace, the Water and Sewerage Authority’s substation at New Grant, where she was a security guard. She left the compound shortly after 6 am and got into a white car heading to Rio Claro, but never made it home.

All subsequent calls to her went unanswered and then straight to voicemail.

“On Monday (July 8) at about 9 am, no other calls were answered. The phone was being switched on and off. Messages were going through on WhatsApp, but no one responded. We never found the phone,” her bereaved mother said. Rivers previously lived at Union Village in Mayaro, and broke off a physically abusive relationship in October. Since then, relatives said she had been living in fear.

“Last week Tuesday I reported her missing to Rio Claro police then made one the next day at Princes Town. We are hoping for justice. Saturday and Sunday, we went searching all over, from Guaya to Mayaro to Manzanilla by the gas station. On Sunday we were in Union Village in the back by the river, and all those side streets. We were in the Agostini area.”

The mother of two and grandmother of one described Rivers as a nice and loving child who spoke to everyone.

“She would tell everyone good morning. She would never hurt anything. “I went down when they found Chris,” she added, “but I did not get to see the body.”

At the family’s home, neighbours and friends gathered to express condolences. Neighbours took turns criticising the killer.

“He will get what is coming for him. He is wicked. He has no love in his heart. You cannot say you love someone and do that to her. He is too young to be that wicked.

“We prayed and prayed to find her, and we did,” one woman said.

Another interjected, “That is not wickedness, that is being evil. He is evil.”

The woman added: “We are also praying for that young lady (in custody), whoever she is, to open her mouth and give police the information. It is as though he did not want the family to get closure. But God put it in a way that someone else was there. She seems to know a lot.”

Pastor Mervyn Rodriguez of the Dunamis Apostolic Evangelical Assembly at Guayaguayare Road in Rio Claro was helping relatives pitch a tent in the yard.

Different churches, he said, would be coming together from the Nariva/Mayaro Pastors Association to lead services and counsel relatives and residents.

Rodriguez said: “God has the power, the authority, to allow or not allow stuff to happen. We need to trust God in all of this, it is a hard thing. Now is not a time to question God. It is hard to lose a child. We will let relatives know we are here with them to the end.”

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