RELATIVES of a woman who was murdered seven years ago, are thanking officers of the TTPS Cold Case Unit for giving them a small measure of relief by the arrest and charging of the woman's boyfriend.
Although Ashma Naimool's body has never been found after she disappeared on June 3, 2015, relatives told Newsday they are nevertheless grateful that police made a breakthrough in the case.
A police press release earlier this week said that 38-year-old Rajendra Rampaul of Plum Mitan Junction, Biche was charged with Naimool's murder and appeared before Port of Spain Magistrate Maureen Baboolal-Gafoor on Tuesday.
Naimool, 32, was picked up at her sister's house in Dinsley, Tacarigua on June 3, 2015, at about 4 pm and taken to a bar in Arima.
She was supposedly dropped off in Arouca to meet a friend identified only as “Stacy” but was never seen or heard from again.
A female relative who asked not to be identified, told Newsday the family is relieved that a man has been charged.
“I want to deeply thank officers of the Cold Case Unit for making a breakthrough. They delivered on what they said they were going to do although it took seven years,” the woman said.
She added that full closure and an end to the family's ongoing grief and trauma can only come if Naimool is found.
“Closure is not a word that we use. Closure is not a word that is for us. We will forever want to see her. Want to have her and hoping to run into her. Closure is really for the public who may have wondered all these years what really happened,” the woman said.
A missing person’s report was made to the Arouca Police Station the day after Naimool disappeared.
The case was eventually handed over to the Homicide Bureau of Investigations and in 2019, it was referred to the Cold Case Unit.
“A clinical approach was taken to bring the matter to a close” the release said with the unit working with the National Operations Task Force (NOTF), the Anti-Kidnapping Unit and the Special Evidence and Recovery Unit (SERU)," the police release said.
Naimool was the second-to-last child of her parents' six children and was contemplating switching careers before she disappeared.
The relative said Naimool was a certified nail technician who wanted to study law and was planning to enrol in the University of the West Indies's law school.
“Ashma was loved by everyone. She and her eldest brother would run away and go to the river and of course they would get licks but they would do it again because they found it was worth it. She loved the river, she loved the beach. She loved water.”