Mother’s call after Bharatt’s death: Solve my Andrea’s case too

COLD CASE?: Andrea Hannah Edwards. -
COLD CASE?: Andrea Hannah Edwards. -

BRUTAL crimes against women and children, as frequent as they may be, have rarely led to public rage and anguish as Andrea Bharatt's murder has.

But a defining moment was imminent, says one mother whose daughter was murdered in 2016. In fact, she is relieved that the country has finally woken up, if indeed it has.

Andrea Hannah Edwards was 37 when she was stabbed 32 times and killed in her bedroom at Haig Street, Carenage. Her husband was also injured. He survived, but was shot and killed shortly afterwards.

Andrea's mother, Norma Edwards, has regularly raised awareness of the senseless murder in the years following her daughter's death, and what she believes was a subsequent cover-up, to bring justice to her daughter's name and highlight the chronic problem of violence against women in TT.

Bharatt's recent unjust and tragic murder shocked an already crime-riddled TT to its core. Like Andrea Edwards' death, for many, it meant having to relive the trauma of losing someone close to them under similar circumstances.

Edwards told Newsday she followed Bharatt's case from start to end.

"I became silent when I heard Andrea (Bharatt) was missing. I thought to myself, 'Lord, don't let it be, please.'

"I prayed and cried, begging for her safe return but it never happened the way everyone, including myself, wanted," she said, adding that her heart dropped when Bharatt's body was identified.

"No too long (ago) it was Ashanti Riley's body found murdered and I know the hurt each mother and father has to go through.

"Andrea, just like Ashanti and other young women whose life was snuffed out by the hands of evil men – they were young and beautiful, just like my Andrea."

Reliving her own experience, Edwards said, "(Our family was) like people walking without brains. There was a yesterday and everything was fine – so we thought.

"Then again, what could have my Andrea done to be stabbed 32 times in her bedroom? My Andrea's murder could never be a cold case."

Edwards said the crime scene was quickly cleaned up, adding to the mounting problems in an already sloppy case.

She said she ran "up and down to get justice," and was familiar with evidence the police had access to but, she said, they "refuse to use it up to this day."

Edwards said the police knew someone had tampered with evidence by taking one of the knives believed to have been used in the attack and threw it into a drain. Although she directed the police to it, the alleged culprit was not held and charged.

"The police then retrieved it and let her go," Edwards said. "Why? Is tampering (with evidence) not a crime? Remember she (allegedly) concealed a murder weapon. And there were two more knives. They 'overkilled' my daughter for no reason at all.

"And then again, as her body lay on the floor, they cleaned up my child's blood as if to say nothing happened. Not a drop of blood was found hear her body. But when you look at the garbage area outside, you can see mountains of sheets covered with blood.

"She bled to death. I know the persons who clean up a crime scene have to make a jail. But for four years and six months, they are walking free. No one has been held accountable for my Andrea's murder."

Edwards said her husband, Andrea's father, recently suffered a stroke, which she blamed on general injustice in TT.

"They think they took my family and I for a ride. No, we all have to come before God one day," Edwards said.

"This hurt is not easy. I know a lot of mothers are like me. They hold their bellies and cry and ask for strength. I have never seen a country like this. People are crying out for clean justice. Money really talks for wrongdoings.

"To Andrea's family, and all the families of murdered daughters: hold on to the Lord. He is our only hope."

Edwards said she has visited the Police Complaints Authority to take the matter forward.


"Mother’s call after Bharatt’s death: Solve my Andrea’s case too"

More in this section