New suspect in Ria kidnapping case

Date: 
Friday, October 14, 2016 - 10:45

The Criminal Intelligence Unit has released a new sketch of a suspect wanted in the abduction of Debe hairstylist Ria Sookdeo.

The artist depiction of the suspect showed that he was a man of African descent between 30-35 years old, has a brown skin complexion, 5 ft 8 inches tall, with a muscular built. 

He is said to be unkempt with big eyes, beard and sideburns and was seen wearing police operational wear.

Police have been in possession of the sketch since last week after a possible eyewitness to Sookdeo’s abduction gave information to investigators.

The sketch was the second to be released by the T&T Police Service with the first being a bearded man wearing a cap with the marking "Police."

Investigators said, however, that although both descriptions showed that the men wore tactical gear similar to the police, it did not necessarily mean that police were involved in Sookdeo’s abduction.

Investigators also said  the men could have been also been paid by someone to abduct Sookdeo and may have been watching her movements days before taking her near her children’s Picton Presbyterian Primary School on September 22.

According to reports, Sookdeo, 34, a hairstylist, dropped off her two children — aged nine and five — at the Picton Presbyterian Primary School around 8.30 am. As she drove her red Nissan X-Trail to Picton Estate Drive to turn, a black Nissan X-Trail SUV pulled up behind, blocking her path. 

Two men, wearing tactical gear, forced her out of her SUV and into theirs and drove off.

The SUV bore a false registration number, which actually belonged to a Ford Ranger pickup which was owned by the neighbour of the two people detained on September 25. 

However, the neighbour told police he crashed last year and the pickup was never restored. It was also stolen two years ago and later returned to the owner. 

Police took several statements from Sookdeo’s Raghoo Village neighbours and Papourie Road residents near the area where she was abducted. 

CCTV footage from a nearby bar shows a black Nissan X-Trail SUV in the parking lot minutes before she was abducted. Three days later, officers from the Anti Kidnapping Squad went to the home of the suspended police officer around 8 am and found a black SUV parked in the backyard. 

Both occupants of the house were questioned by the police and left with police officers. However, they were released as their alibis checked out and the SUV did not match her abductors’. 

SOURCE: www.guardian.co.tt (Kevon Felmine)

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