Concerns that 39-year-old Merissa Edwards may not be found alive have deepened, following the death of her boyfriend.
Police said Simeon Roopchand, 51, of Bank Village, Carapichaima, was found hanging from a tree in Tabaquite by members of the Hunters Search and Rescue Team and her two brothers on Saturday.
It is believed that he ended his own life.
Edwards, who works as an administrative clerk at the Faculty of Medical Science at UWI St Augustine, left her Chase Village, Chaguanas home with Roopchand on September 18 but never returned and has not been seen or heard from since then.
Yesterday, a search party, including the hunters’ search group, the police, led by Insp Malcolm Alexander, and her relatives, combed the densely forested area off Damien Road and Mc Carthy Street, Tabaquite, where Roopchand’s body and car were found.
Noting that yesterday was the sixth day they have been looking for Edwards, Hunters Search and Rescue Team captain Vallence Rambharat said they could not thoroughly search the area on Saturday.
“So today, we resume the search and comb this entire area. We strongly feel that something is in this area,” he added.
Based on the circumstances, however, Rambharat said it might not have a happy ending.
“I spoke to the family this morning. They are hopeful. As a team, we are always hopeful, but again we have to face the reality that we may be facing a murder-suicide,” he said.
Rambharat explained that on September 18, Edwards left home around 7 pm with Roopchand to “go for a lime.” The following morning around 6 am, he went to her home and her relatives told him Edwards did not return home.
Relatives said Roopchand would usually take Edwards’ daughter to school and drop her (Edwards) to work.
But Rambharat said relatives found Roopchand’s story to be quite curious.
“He indicated that he dropped her off on the highway, which was unusual because he never did that before. She would have had to take a lonely track from the highway to her home. When confronted, the family said he began to act suspicious and that is when they contacted us on Monday.”
Rambharat said they searched Roopchand’s garden, the area he lived in, as well as Waterloo and Couva. Roopchand was last seen alive on September 20. A missing person’s report was made for him at the Freeport Police Station when he was not seen by his relatives.
Rambharat said they intended to cover a one-kilometre distance and continue until sunset yesterday in the hope of finding Edwards. However, Rambharat noted that this year, there has been a leap in the number of people reported missing by loved ones.
“And we have been coming across a lot of bodies whether it’s drownings, hangings, murders, etc. I do not know what is happening with the population. We are feeling it, we are exhausted, we have not had a break, we have been going at it for 2022,” he added.
Up to late last evening, the search for Edwards had yielded no results.