“Be careful who you allow into your home and into lives.”
The warning has come from the family of 39-year-old Marissa Edwards, who was killed by her boyfriend, who then took his own life days later.
Speaking with reporters at their Freeport home yesterday, Edwards’ sister Lisa said they never imagined this outcome, as Edwards’ boyfriend, Simeon Roopchand, had a brotherly relationship with them.
Lisa said he was not a violent person.
“Be careful, know who you let into your home and your family because this has left us broken. She is our sister. There is a child without a mother, a mother without a daughter, a sister without our next sister,” she said.
“Just be careful, because you never know who you could let into your home, because the person did not show signs of aggression or a bad side. He used to laugh and play. We had nicknames. He was like a brother. For him to turn and do this to this family, he was selfish,” she lamented.
They said Edwards was excited about going with her 16-year-old daughter to register for A-Levels but she never got the chance.
Describing Edwards as their protector, another sister, Crystal Cox, said they come from a strong-spiritual background, as their father is a pastor, so Marissa was God-fearing, generous, hard-working and family-oriented.
Edwards was in a relationship with Roopchand, 51, for about two years, but she had planned to end the relationship, they said.
While Roopchand was not abusive, Edwards’ sisters said he would accuse her of being unfaithful. However, Cox said she did not like the way he spoke to her and had warned her sister that he was dangerous.
“Even though he would not have been giving off that dangerous persona, I just felt that he was dangerous,” said Cox.
But she said Edwards dismissed her warnings, insisting that she could take care of herself.
Sad father, pastor Dodridge Edwards, at his home in Freeport yesterday. His daughter Marissa Edwards was found dead in Couva on Monday after being reported missing.
Edwards, an administrative clerk at the Faculty of Medical Sciences at the University of the West Indies’ St Augustine campus, left her home with Roopchand around 7 pm on September 18 to go for drinks.
Roopchand arrived at Edwards’ home that day around 6 am, claiming he had come to pick her up for work and to take her daughter to school. When relatives subsequently inquired about Edwards’ whereabouts, he claimed he dropped Edwards on the highway by a track which leads to their home.
Roopchand dropped and picked up Edwards’ daughter from school that day. He insisted he did not know where she was and pretended to be concerned. However, Cox said he began acting suspiciously when they told him that the GPS on Edwards’ phone was not collaborating with his story. She said he subsequently sent messages to family members, claiming that they had ruined his life.
Relatives of missing administrative clerk at the Faculty of Medical Sciences at the UWI, St Augustine, Marissa Edwards, at the scene where her body was found at Exchange Road in Couva on Monday.
Roopchand’s car was found in Tabaquite on Tuesday and on Saturday his body was found hanging from a tree.
While “it’s really hard” to cope with her sister’s death, Cox believes if they don’t eventually forgive him, they would not be able to heal.
“I truly believe that I am learning to forgive on a daily basis, that is why I am trying not to say anything about the individual because we need to heal. I believe that hurting people hurts people,” she added.
Edwards’ decomposing body was found in drain off Exchange Link Road, Couva, on Monday by members of the Vallence Rambharat-led Hunters Search and Rescue Team and her brothers, who had been combing areas in Central and Tabaquite since she disappeared.
Edwards’ relatives identified her body at the Forensic Science Centre yesterday and an autopsy is expected to be done this week.