A Buccoo family is now at their wits end after the case of their missing 23-year-old relative has gone cold.
Mackice Joseph, whose last known address was Les Coteaux, was last seen on May 10 and has not been seen or heard from since. Relatives fear he may have been murdered, but blame the police for not doing their due diligence in finding him although they were given pertinent information to aid the investigation.
In an interview at her Buccoo home last Saturday, exactly one month to the date of his disappearance, an upset Marilyn Rodriquez described the last moments her son was seen alive. She said her son moved to Les Coteaux on May 3 with his girlfriend Jessie Lewis, 28. On the day in question, he left his apartment to buy rise at a nearby shop but never returned
“Today is the tenth again, which is a month and the rice ain’t come neither he…I made reports to the Old Grange Police Station, they sent me to the Moriah Police Station. The Moriah Police Station started looking the same day, it carried on for like a week and then that was it,” Rodriguez said
Lewis, who was at home when Joseph left the apartment, said she initially didn’t think anything of it because he would stray at times, but she became worried when time elapsed and he had not returned or called as he usually did
“I called his mother and asked for him, she say she didn’t see him, she would call and see if he in Lambeau, but he wasn’t there either,” Lewis said.
The father of two, only boy and the elder of two children for Rodriguez, was described as a fun loving and kind hearted individual. But Rodriguez said her son was no saint, as he both sold and consumed marijuana. She also believes drug activity may have led to her son’s disappearance
Rodriguez said her family had resorted to doing their own investigation and she believes they have information on the individuals responsible for her son’s disappearance. But although they would have furnished the investigating officers, including both Commissioner of Police Stephen Williams and Senior Superintendent Joanne Archie, with the information, the case remains at a standstill. She said two of the alleged suspects were detained and eventually released
“I know who take him, who kill him or whatever he is, I know who do it to him, and I keep telling the police and them this,” she said
Rodriguez believes her son is no longer alive, as her family was informed by undisclosed sources that Mackice was shot in the head, back and chest, after being tortured at the back of the ANR Robinson International Airport and his body allegedly sunk off the waters of No Man’s Land.
Aunt Sumatee Ramkissoon, in an emotional recount, explained the information the family received about Mackice’s alleged death
“We were told to go look in the lagoon. The police know, because when we told the police we are going No Man’s Land to search, they said let we don’t go by ourselves and that time we were told that the boy tie up in the mangrove and they were bathing him with condensed milk before they killed him for a whole week. You are telling me that is something to do somebody?” Ramkissoon said.
Rodriguez added, “I want justice for my son’s death. I don’t really want to, but I believe he’s dead. I would know, with the way how I feel, Mackice is not alive and these people walking around free … and to show how they a brazen, they’re sending threats to his girlfriend now.”
She also alleged that there might be some level of collusion and corruption with some of the investigating officers in the matter. “Policeman name calling, this is why police is not taking up my matter very seriously, because all of them know about it. Take $30,000 bribe to cover up the investigation. When I take this and give the police, I gave Joanne Archie and she told me police don’t take bribe, like we are not living in a real world,” she said.
Contacted for a comment on the issue, Snr Supt Archie confirmed she was aware of the matter and has been in communication with both Rodriguez and Ramkissoon on the case.
“There were about three occasions they called and gave information that was immediately followed up. In addition to that, there were officers of the Criminal Gang and Intelligence Unit and other officers from Trinidad who were assisting with that investigation, so to say the police isn’t doing anything, that is quite untrue, because on each occasion there was a team going out and it was followed up by the police,” Archie said.
“Whatever information that she has given it was followed up and the investigation is still quite opened. She has been in communication with me and on each occasion that she gave a location it was dealt with, in fact there were five persons detained with that investigation” Archie said.
Responding to the bribery allegations, Archie said she has not received any information revealing such.
“That investigation is still being actively pursued. I don’t want to say anything publicly that would compromise the investigation… whether there is police involvement I cannot say, our investigations so far have not revealed that, so she can rest assured that the investigation is still being actively pursued,” she said.