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Coast Guard fail to find baby in pond

Thursday, May 24, 2018
Coast Guard divers make their way into the Usine Ste Madeleine pond in search of a baby, yesterday. PICTURE RISHI RAGOONATH

Ste Madeleine residents gathered anxiously at the Usine Pond to see if the horrible story of a baby being dumped in the water was true yesterday, but after two hours of searching Coast Guard divers found nothing.

Southern Division police said the search was called off after the pond and its bank yielded no signs of a body. However, Ste Madeleine officers are expected to keep an eye out in the coming days for any signs of a body.

From early yesterday, labourers were cutting the grass at the banks of the pond to assist in the search while officers scoured the bank. They told the T&T Guardian they were not sure whether a baby was thrown into the pond, but had no choice but to check it out. By midday, the Coast Guard divers joined the search, reaching greater depths than on Tuesday night

Initial reports on Tuesday night stated a woman was seen walking into the dirt road alongside the pond with a baby in her arms. Minutes later, she returned to the Manahambre Road without the baby and left in a gold Nissan Almera.

However, councillor for Corinth/Cedar Hill, Shawn Premchand, said he contacted the police after hearing a baby’s cry. Premchand and members of the Corinth/Cedar Hill Coordinating Committee were planting jhandis along the wall of the pond in preparation for their Indian Arrival Day celebrations next Wednesday. He said they heard a woman scream and shortly after, saw an Afro-Trinidadian woman in a black dress walk to the roadside and leave in a car heading toward San Fernando. He said around 7.30 pm, after the woman left, they heard a child crying and went in search. However, when no child was found they contacted the police, who responded along with divers from the Fire Service.

He lamented that the picturesque pond that one supplied the now-defunct Ste Madeleine Sugar Factory was now a disposal site for murder victims. Last April, the decomposing corpse of David Conlisse, of Sangre Grande, was found wrapped in linoleum. In January, PH taxi driver Richard Beharry, 24, was shot and killed and his body left in the backseat of a white Nissan AD Wagon that was partially submerged in the pond.

Last December, Canadian citizen Vishnu Narine was shot dead and dumped at the side of the pond.


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