Pauline Lumfai, from Bay Road, Orange Valley, Couva told Newsday that yesterday was not a good day for her, after hearing on the news that the battered and bruised body of eight-year-old Hope Arismandez was found in a canefield on the outskirts of Felicity. She said she could not believe the reports of Hope’s death.
Lumfai said, “I was blown away by the news and kept saying not again, not again. This was not supposed to happen again. It happened to my son, Emily and so much others. And look it happen again to Hope.”
The distraught woman said Hope’s murder brought back a flood of memories, and added that she could not even concentrate on work.
“Everything just came back to me. My heart just ripped open. How many times you have to ask why?” she cried. Her son, six-year-old Sean Luke Lumfai, was also found dead and buggered in a canefield, a short distance from his Orange Valley home in March 2006.
The angry woman blamed the crime wave on the inadequate justice system, noting that if there were stiffer penalties people would think twice about committing such atrocities. “What happen to the DNA laws? You have to wait long long long before they even accept it in court. There is need for harsher punishments and laws. The law has no effect on people out there.”
Lumfai added that even if the perpetrators went to jail, it was like a vacation for them, because they would get food, special training and a place to stay.
Lumfai advised parents to be careful with their children. “Do not trust people. It is happening over and over and nobody seems to be listening.” The heartbroken woman said the only thing people can do is trust in God.
Meanwhile, Emily’s grandmother Chanardai Basdeo said Hope should not have suffered the same fate as her own granddaughter Amy who was raped, buggered, burnt with cigarettes and died on May 15, 2006, just two months after Luke Lumfai’s murder.
Basdeo noted that it was especially difficult this month with the two-year anniversary of Emily’s death and her birthday. She would have been six years old this year.
“Last night when I heard that Hope died, it was something else. I was only studying Emily. I was only studying my child.”
The saddened grandmother told Newsday that everyone was asking the Government to do something but nothing ever happens. She said, “It is the small children who are dying and it is not only little girls but boys too. I do not know what happening these days.”
Basdeo, who now resides in a government housing development in Cocoyea, San Fernando said that it was a fight to get the house. She sobbed, “I does still study her. I does always think that if she were here, she would have a big place to stay.” Emily’s mother, Anita, was not at home at the time.