Natalie's rescue brings hope to Sookdeo family

The dramatic rescue of kidnapped mother Natalie Pollonais and the subsequent arrests of three police officers has brought renewed hope to Mark Sookdeo, whose wife Ria Sookdeo was abducted two years ago.

The abduction was witnessed by someone who saw Sookdeo being taken away by a man wearing a police uniform, near the Picton Presbyterian School at Papourie Road, Diamond.

A sketch of the suspect was provided to the police but despite its widespread circulation, no one was ever arrested and Ria was never found.

Villagers in her community became so fearful that they embarked on a self-imposed curfew for months following Ria's disappearance.

In an interview yesterday, Mark said the kidnapping of Natalie Pollonais last Thursday and her subsequent rescue on Monday night, brought back hope that someday the mystery of Ria's disappearance could be solved.

"I want the Commissioner to look into her case and bring some closure for my family and my children," Mark said yesterday. He added that Pollonais kidnapping had petrified the family and when they heard she was rescued, they felt relief.

"There is a lot of talk all over that Ria's kidnapping may be linked. I do not know. Everyone is sending photos and sketches and this has brought back a lot of pain.

I hope the police can do what they did for Natalie and bring back my wife.

At least let us know what happened to her," Mark said.

He added that apart from Ria, there were several other families whose loved ones were missing.

Mark said under the watch of Commissioner Griffith, he was hopeful.

"So far we have a new police commissioner and he has been trying to make an impact for the benefit of the whole country. He is doing things differently. It is a good sign and I hope that the men who kidnapped Natalie Pollonais will be brought to justice," Mark said.

He added that since Ria was abducted, their lives have been in turmoil.

"I try my best to do what I can for our children. I get them involved in sports. It will never be the same but at least we are hoping that we can get some closure," Mark said.

Sookdeo, a mother of two, was abducted near Diamond Village, San Fernando on September 16 2016, after dropping off her children to the Picton Presbyterian school.

Griffith in a Whatsapp message said he was determined to arrest everyone who was part of Pollonais's kidnapping.

He declined to comment on the three men who are currently in police custody. Sources say the suspects include two constables from the La Romaine police post and a corporal from the Highway Patrol Division.

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