From October 2017 mas players and residents of Mt Lambert could see the shape and colours of Carnival 2018 costumes to come when they pass near to Michael (Chickee) Alexis' home.
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Murdered mom had rough childhood
Six years before she was found executed in Barrackpore, the woman who called herself Vanessa Ali, ran away from home and spent days roaming the streets, hoping for a better life.
Vanessa Ali, relatives said, was a fake Facebook name. Her real name was Inga Scheult and she was adopted by a Piparo family in 1996 from the age of two months. She never knew her biological parents who is believed to have abandoned her shortly after birth.
In an interview yesterday, a close relative, who requested anonymity, said Scheult was raised by Gita and Joseph Scheult, her adopted parents. They called her Dionne. The couple had three children Melissa, Wanessa and Stefon Scheult and the relative said they tried to raise Scheult like their own daughter.
“I remember Joseph carrying her on his back. She was such a pretty child and she was loved,” the relative added. She said when Joseph died in 2004, Scheult’s life went into shambles. Her grandmother Rookmin Rampersad was her closest confidante and when Rampersad also died, Scheult never recovered.
The source said Scheult became the victim of physical and mental abuse and in 2011 at the age of 15 she ran away.
“She spent two days and two night roaming the streets and then somebody picked her up,” the relative added. She said after Rampersad’s death the family broke up and many of them lost touch with Scheult. She explained that Scheult started stealing because she felt cheated by some members of her family.
“A relative had left some money for her which she supposed to get when she came of age but (name called) took away the money and never gave it to her. She started to rebel. When she left home nobody knew where she went. She moved from one place to another because she was never happy,” the source added.
She explained that Scheult met her children’s father and had two daughters, one of whom is disabled.
Her cousin Niam Ali, in an interview at the Forensic Science Centre said her death was shocking.
“She was always a very nice person. One child has a disability so she was a house wife for some time as she was seeing about it,” Ali said.
He said he never knew that Scheult was being abused.
“I spoke to her two months ago on the phone. She said she was going to La Romaine side and that was basically it. I told her my doors always open to her and the children,” Ali said.
On her Facebook profile, Scheult posted that she started a new relationship on December 23. Investigators said she became involved with a known drug dealer. Video surveillance posted online showed Scheult driving a Suzuki Swift, wearing the same clothing that she wore on the day she died.
Investigators have not found a motive for her murder but they have questioned several people from the La Romaine district. The alleged drug dealer remains at large. An autopsy conducted on the body revealed that death was due to a gunshot wound to the head.
Scheult was featured on CrimeWatch in 2016 after being caught stealing a phone at a bar in Barrackpore. She was also facing a charge of fraud.
Police are calling on members of the public to come forward with information on Scheult’s murder. Anyone with information can contact CrimeStoppers at 800-TIPS.
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