Mother’s Day heartbreak for Couva couple after children murdered

Ann Chitbahal shows photos of her children at the unfinished structure they were building at Windsor Park, Couva. - Lincoln Holder
Ann Chitbahal shows photos of her children at the unfinished structure they were building at Windsor Park, Couva. - Lincoln Holder

The adage that time heals all wounds holds no truth for a Couva couple whose two children were shot dead at the family’s home two years ago.

Ann Chitbahal, 49, and her sickly husband, Tony Chitbahal, 58, said the killers not only took their children’s lives on April 23, 2020, but theirs as well.

Ann said Mother’s Day is another heartbreaking day without her beloved children Vishal, 25, and Vishanie, 23, fondly called Shanie.

"They (killers) wrecked lives our lives that day. We have nothing to live for. Our children were our lives. We were poor but happy together. This is the third year we are spending Mother’s Day without them," Ann said in tears.

"One of the final Mother’s Day gifts I got from them was a food processor. On Mother’s Day, I would get gifts from Shanie throughout the day, maybe every half an hour. If I am sitting on a chair and go inside, a gift would be on the chair when I return."

The siblings were gunned down before daybreak two years ago by intruders who broke down the front door of the family’s humble wooden house at Windsor Park in California.

Ann Chitbahal with a photograpgh of her murdered children, Vishanie and Vishal, at her Windsor Park, Couva home. The siblings were gunned down in 2020. - Lincoln Holder

Vishanie and Vishal were the breadwinners. The siblings did not have any children of their own.

Sitting next to her husband, Ann added, "We can relate to anyone who has lost a child to murder. It is not an easy thing to deal with. We know the pain they are going through. It does not go away. Some mothers still have other children; we have none. We lost our two. We have no one to call us Mom or Dad."

"They were good children with big plans. They were happy and healthy."

On December 13, eight months after the double homicide, Ann said her mother, Rose Ramdeo, 72, died after grieving over their deaths. She died of natural causes.

"She could not take on the pressure of losing them. She grieved for them because they were very close. My daughter and son ran all her errands," Ann said.

"My mother hardly ever visited after the murders. The few times she came, she was busy to leave. She couldn’t stand being here. It seemed to be too stressful for her."

Tony said he has diabetes and limited mobility. In October 2019, he had surgery for a pinched nerve.

The Chitbahal couple has fallen on hard times.

Termites have eaten away part of the house. An adjoining shed was demolished because it became a risk to their safety.

Ann and husband Tony Chitbahal at their Windsor Park, Couva home. - Lincoln Holder

On seeing the couple’s hardship, friends and family pooled resources and began construction on the compound about two months ago. Work has stopped owing to insufficient funds.

"The children wanted to build a big house. But plans have changed. Vishal wanted a split-level house. He drew a design, but now it is just my husband and me," Ann said.

She repeatedly thanks relatives and well-wishers for their prayers and generosity.

"God is good. Our relatives are always checking on us. People drop off hampers from time to time. Sometimes get too many items and share them with less fortunate families," Ann said.

Tony thanked everyone who has been helping them.

"All days are hard without our children. But Mother’s Day is harder for my wife. She cries for them every day. I cry too."

Regarding the unfinished house, he said, "Money ran out, so the work is on hold. We would appreciate it if anyone wants to help with materials or anything."

To date, the killers remain at large.

Homicide Bureau Region III police are leading investigations.

Anyone who is willing to help the couple can contact this reporter at 607-4929 or send an e-mail to


"Mother’s Day heartbreak for Couva couple after children murdered"

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