US-based Trinidadian author Nathalie Taghaboni, right, recently returned home to launch her latest book, Side By Side We Stand.
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Cyber cops now hold key to case
The police search for child sex predator Franklyn Chea Callender ended yesterday when he was found hanging by his neck from a rope tied to a mango tree near Cemetery Street, Princes Town.
Police found, strapped to his stomach, a laptop which is believed to contain more pictures of him engaging in sexual activity with children.
Members of the Police Service Cyber Crimes Unit were said to be going through the computer “with a fine-tooth comb,” yesterday, to see if the five-year-old child of his former lover was his only victim or if there were pictures/videos of others.
Callender’s body was discovered by passers-by hanging from a four-foot length of rope suspended from a mango tree some 30 feet off of Cemetery Street, metres from a nearby burial site. Police were contacted and a party of officers led by ASP Rohan Pardasie, Cpl Nanan and others went to the scene. Police removed the body and District Medical Officer Francis viewed it and ordered it removed to the Forensic Science Centre for an autopsy next Wednesday.
Sources said his body was positively identified by the mother of the infant who shared an intimate relationship with him. She confirmed to police that he was the man seen having oral sex with her child in several video files on his cellular phone.
ASP Pardasie yesterday took the opportunity to warn mothers against leaving their children with strangers, especially males.
The stomach-churning events began on February 1 when the woman, a mother of three, was shown the pictures of her innocent child by her brother, who had accidentally discovered them when he went to silence Callender’s phone after the alarm went off.
The woman confronted Callender and he ran out of her house. Since then, the 31-year-old security guard, who had addresses at both Maingot Road and Gajadhar Lands, Princes Town, had been on the run after his distraught ex-lover reported her findings to the police. Callender is the son of a retired police officer.
Reports indicate that he and the woman, who is also a security guard, met while working together and developed a relationship. They started living together shortly thereafter. The woman, who appeared on Ian Alleyne’s Crime Watch programme on Thursday, said he was a good man and started taking care of her daughter after the child’s grandmother became ill.
As the search intensified, however, police discovered that Callender was a known sex predator, having appeared before a Princes Town magistrate only last week to answer charges of rape and robbery. He was out on bail when he betrayed the trust of his lover, who left her daughter in his care whom he assaulted.
Inspector Don Gajadhar of the Southern Division police is continuing investigations.
In an unrelated incident, a 33-year-old Scarborough landscaper is being investigated for allegedly committing a sexual offence against a child. The report was made this week and the man was held yesterday by police. The Child Protection Unit is spearheading the investigation.