The community of Maracas, St Joseph, was left bewildered and in mourning yesterday, after one-year-old Jacob Munroe, who was reported kidnapped on Tuesday, was found wrapped in a purple sheet in a cesspit close to where he was allegedly snatched by three men.Residents could not believe that a baby who had all his life before him could be killed in such a brutal way by his alleged abductors.
According to police reports, around 12.30 pm on Tuesday, Jacob's father, Allan Thomas, was at his Santarita Trace, Lluengo Village, Maracas, St Joseph, home when three armed men entered and demanded that Thomas hand over a gun he was hiding for someone.After Thomas refused, the men are alleged to have ordered Thomas to slit his own wrist and drink a flammable substance believed to be pitch oil.
The men then grabbed the child and fled the home.Relatives contacted police and an ambulance, which arrived shortly afterwards and took Thomas to the Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex in Mt Hope.Police then started a manhunt for the kidnappers and little Jacob.Yesterday, however, around 1.30 pm, the gruesome discovery was made.
Police visited the area where Thomas lives to gather more information from relatives and neighbours, as well as forensic evidence after they discovered the body so close to the family's home.Around 4 pm, the child's 20-year-old mother, Sharisse Munroe, arrived on the scene in a police vehicle with her sister. The mother arrived just in time to see her only child's body being carried away in a hearse.Grieving relatives said the child was taken to visit his father on Sunday so that the two could have bonded.
Residents of the area expressed shock and disgust over the find.Many vowed that if Jacob was their child "somebody would ah dead too."Most of those gathered around the crime scene were young men who said they too were fathers and could not imagine who or why anyone would want to hurt an innocent child.Police say they are investigating the kidnapping while exploring other leads into the death of the child.Thomas's relatives, who live several feet up an incline from where he lives, were seen hugging each other and crying.
A post-mortem will be done on Jacob's body today at the Forensic Science Centre in St James to determine a cause of death.Thomas, a taxi driver, was still warded at the EWMSC under police guard up to last night.In an unrelated matter, police are also investigating the alleged kidnapping of 16-year-old Kefa Forbes, who was snatched at Library Corner, San Fernando, on Monday.Forbes, a student of the San Fernando East Secondary School, was eventually released in Point Fortin around noon yesterday.
According to her 50-year-old mother, Jennifer Williams, Kefa was returning home around 9 am on Monday, after running errands at JTA Supermarket at Carlton Centre, when she boarded a taxi. However, she was allegedly abducted by the vehicle's occupants.
Speaking at her Pleasantville home yesterday, Williams, a mother of seven who had her left leg amputated because of diabetes in 2009, said that on Tuesday, she got a call from the kidnappers asking for a $5,000 ransom or else they would hurt her daughter.
Williams said hours later her daughter called and told her she had been kidnapped by a girl and two Rastafarian man, and that she was taken to a house in north Trinidad where they locked her in a room. She said Kefa reported that she was not sexually assaulted but was slapped around several times."When the kidnapper called me, I told him I only have one leg, I am a disabled person and I live on disability grants. I asked him, 'where will I get that money?'" Williams said.
Williams said she knew she could not raise the money so she called Kefa's phone yesterday and threatened the kidnappers, saying she knew people who would hunt them down.She said they eventually released Kefa and she was picked up by a taxi driver and taken to the Point Fortin Police Station.
–With reporting by KEVON FELMINE