Ricardo Primus, the older brother of Krystal Primus-Espinoza, the mother of two who was found dead in Balandra on Thursday, says he is fearful for all women in the country.
The body of Primus-Espinoza, 36, was found in the water a short distance away from where her husband's Toyota Hilux was found abandoned after apparently crashing over a cliff. She was last seen alive at home at St Ann's Village, Mayaro, on Wednesday morning.
An autopsy is expected to be done next Wednesday at the Forensic Science Centre in St James to determine the cause of Primus-Espinoza's death.
Speaking with Newsday at the Primus family's home at Peter Hill Trace, Mayaro, on Friday, Primus said hearing of his sister's death and then the news of the murder of 18-year-old schoolgirl Ashanti Riley, he is concerned for the safety and lives of his female relatives and all women in TT.
"Your daughter or your wife could leave home with no guarantee of returning.
"This place is getting really scary and we have to do something about it. People are going missing all over and it's becoming a norm."
Citing some of the comments by social media users on what happened to his sister, Primus said he felt the public does not take reports of missing people seriously.
Relatives said Krystal and her husband Alvon Espinoza were liming on Tuesday night at the home of a family friend, where they slept.
They returned to their home on Wednesday, and Espinoza fell asleep. He was eventually awakened by his three-year-old daughter, who told him, "Mammy gone." The family began searching for Krystal, who had left in her husband's van. Primus said friends and relatives spent all Wednesday night looking for her.
Newsday was told when police found his sister's cellphone in the van, one of the last phone calls she had made was to her brother.
Primus said this was true, but he did not see the call registered on his phone.
"The records showed that she did try to call me, but all day my phone was in my hand and I didn't see or hear it ringing. I don't know what happened as to why the call did not go through."
Newsday understands there were marks on Krystal's body, but police sources said this could not be automatically attributed to foul play, since she could have been injured by waves battering her body on the rocks below a cliff where she was found on Thursday afternoon. Sources said an autopsy will give investigators a clearer picture of how she died.
Her brother said while foul play is a possibility, he remains very disappointed at the front-page headline of a newspaper (not Newsday) which declared his sister had been murdered. He also said a report in that newspaper that a "close male relative" had been detained was misleading and untrue.
"How the article was written gives the impression that the husband was arrested, when her husband was standing right next to me the entire time. I even showed him the story and we were wondering who they could be referring to, because it wasn't him and it wasn't me," Primus said.
Primus-Espinoza's mother Thecla Primus said on Friday that she is remaining strong mentally for the sake of her grandson and granddaughter, aged eight and three respectively.
"All of last (Thursday) night I was playing hide and seek with them to keep their spirits up and their minds preoccupied," she said.
"That is what a grandmother is for. I love my grandchildren just as much as I love my children."
Close family friend Kwineil Paul, who was at the house during the interviews, told Newsday she just does not feel safe any more in this country. She added that being a woman in TT today means you are in even greater danger.
"How can I feel safe when a young girl is found dead in a river when she left home to go by relatives?" Paul asked. She was referring to the discovery on Friday of Riley's body in Santa Cruz. "As a woman and as a mother myself, yes, I too am afraid."
She urged the public to take reports of missing people seriously and to be extra vigilant.
Also at the Primus family home on Friday were several other friends who visited to support the family.