Hardbeatnews, PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, Thurs. Mar 30, 2006: As the relatives of 6-year-old U.S. citizen, Sean Luke, prepare to say goodbye to him today, U.S. Ambassador to Trinidad, Roy Austin, has joined activists here in expressing sadness and shock at the brutal sodomy and murder of the Couva child even as cops arrested two teens yesterday.
Austin yesterday admitted that the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigations is working on the case, telling reporters at a sod-turning ceremony in Point Lisas, “The United States government would work closely with local law enforcement to catch the perpetrators of this dastardly act.”
His comments came as Trinidad and Tobago’s Police Commissioner, Trevor Paul, vowed that every effort will be made to track down Sean’s killer. The Michigan-born kid was found sodomized and beaten to death in a cane field near his Orange Valley, Couva home in Central Trinidad on Tuesday morning.
Two teenaged boys were yesterday held in connection with the child’s murder. The boys – a 14 year old from Port of Spain and a 16 year old from Carli Bay were arrested in Orange Valley at around 11 o’ clock on Tuesday night. Police said the duo are school drop-outs and one of them has a criminal record of sexual offences.
The gruesome murder has rocked the small fishing village of Orange Valley, just North of the Point Lisas Industrial Estate, where many of the large energy companies have their offices.
At her home yesterday, Sean’s mother, Pauline Lum Fai tried to come to grips with her loss.
“Evil…Pure evil,” was the way she described the perpetrator of the crime while warning parents to keep a close watch on their children to ensure that they know who they’re with at all times.
And she called on the authorities to ensure that the killer is captured, to prevent a recurrence of her tragedy, adding that she couldn’t bear to look at her son’s badly decomposed body, because that was not the way she remembered him.
Commissioner Paul has said an in-depth investigation is being undertaken by the Homicide Bureau, the Special Anti-Crime Unit and other National Security intelligence agencies.
Paul added that the allegations made by the boy’s mother that Couva police officers didn’t take her missing person complaints seriously, are being investigated.
The top cop says he’s angry over the boy’s murder and appealed to citizens with information on the incident to contact Crime-Stoppers. He says if it is revealed that officers did not discharge their duties in an efficient manner, disciplinary action will be taken.
But the Keith Noel 136 Committee is slamming the police service for the attitude reportedly displayed by some officers to the mother of 6-year-old Sean Luke. Spokesperson Stephen Cadiz said it’s apparent that the police service’s watchwords to protect and serve have lost their meaning.
He pointed out that there are too many cases where crime scenes are being compromised because of ineffective policing, and called for the DNA legislation to be passed.
Child Rights Activist Gregory Sloane Seale has joined those nationwide in expressing shock at the murder, adding that it brings the issue of a sex offenders’ registry into question. The Sexual Offences Act, which provides for the setting up of such a registry has been passed since 2000, yet no list has ever been established.
“We have to look at setting up measures to monitor and keep tabs on sexual offenders who have already gone through the system,” he said. “It’s a new phenomenon, and it’s something that the police force would have to be trained in dealing with.”
Seale added that the DNA legislation is critical in cases such as these in finding the culprits and bringing them to justice.
Criminologist Professor Ramesh Deosaran agrees that a registry of convicted sexual offenders must be established. “I thought with the technology being brought here, millions of dollars being spent, what is the use?” he asked.
Professor Deosaran, who also heads the Joint Select Committee of Parliament to look into the Police Service Commission, promised to take the authorities to task on allegations made by Sean’s mother that the police did not respond to her report that the child was missing.
“We are going to initiate action by the power of Parliament to get some fuller accountability and to help prevent such incidents from occurring,” he said, while slamming the government for failing to set up the Sex Offenders Registry and to enact the DNA legislation, which he said would help detect and prosecute the offenders.
Meanwhile, just one day after Sean was found buried in a shallow grave, a female taxi driver lost her life yesterday while on duty. Reports say at around 11:45 a.m., Yvette Joseph was plying her car for hire along 3rd Drive, Mt. D’or, when she picked up three passengers who tried to rob her.
When the 39-year-old woman resisted she was shot and killed. The men escaped into some nearby bushes. She became the country’s 103rd murder victim in exactly 87 days since 2006 began. – Hardbeatnews.com