At 82 years old and one of T&T’s most avid and prolific historians, Fr Michael Anthony de Verteuil CSSp, former principal (1978-1992) of his alma mater of St Mary’s College in Port-of-Spain, st
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Cops probe strange case
Diane Singh is 14 years old. She attends the St Charles High School in Tunapuna. On the morning of May 7 she left her home at 51 Bharath Street in St Augustine to go to school. She arrived at the school but surveillance video in the area, obtained by CrimeWatch host Ian Alleyne, would later show her getting into an AE 92 hatchback Corolla vehicle. Her mother reported her daughter missing to the Tunapuna police who immediately started an investigation.
But Diane’s mother, Sharon, felt that the police were taking too long to find her daughter and so, 13 days after her daughter went missing, she sought the help of Alleyne. Within hours of Singh’s appearance on the programme, Alleyne was able to locate the vehicle which was captured in the video. He went to the home of the young man who drives the vehicle and by Thursday, two days after Sharon Singh appeared on CrimeWatch, Alleyne had found Diane and reunited her with her mother.
But this was no happy ending. The teenager cried profusely on the programme and investigators from Tunapuna, who have been on the case since she was first reported missing, came to the studio on finding out that Alleyne had found Diane. Investigator, constable McQueen, commended Alleyne for his swift action in finding the teenager, telling him that the investigation by the police had led them to one trail but they had been unable to find the girl.
Alleyne told the officer he was glad to help. He said while he was not a police officer, people often trusted him and came to him with information when he aired stories. Apparently, contrary to what had been reported, Diane was not with the man who was driving the car. She was in the care of a Cepep worker who gave her name as Sacha, and who accompanied Diane to the CrimeWatch studio.
The woman told Alleyne she was working in the area where Diane lived and they had started talking. She said daily the girl would talk to her and confide in her about things which were happening in her life. They eventually exchanged phone numbers and Sacha told Alleyne Diane would often call her to talk about problems. But Diane’s mother eventually took Diane’s phone away from her. On the day when Diane ran away from home, the driver of the Corolla and his girlfriend picked her up at the school and took her to Sacha’s home.
Tunapuna police told Alleyne they are continuing their investigations into the matter and have questioned the girl and her parents based on allegations made.