She screamed: “Oh God, get her out of here, get her out! Please God!” as relatives tried in vain to console her.
Her class teacher, Yvette Avello was also seen weeping inconsolably. Some of Hope’s classmates comforted each other as they wept uncontrollably, while some wore sad faces.
The hundreds of mourners that gathered at the church were not able to view Hope’s body, but got a chance to view a beautiful picture of her posing with Santa Claus, which was taken a few Christmases back.
A relative disclosed to Newsday that Hope was dressed in her favourite cream “fairy princess” dress that she wore to two recent weddings. “She loved that dress so dearly. She called it the “twirly” dress, she loved to spin around and around in it. So, we thought it best to bury her in it,” the relative said. Hope’s tragedy, was described in the eulogy as “A brutal end of their beloved angel, Hope.”
The eulogy was delivered by two of Hope’s relatives, Louise Rajoon and Sophia Ramnath, and close family friend, Michelle Orthello. Rajoon said Hope had a personality that made her a favourite among people in the village.
Orthello said she was a junior school student of the RC School and was loved and appreciated unconditionally by her teachers as well as her schoolmates. Ramnath described Hope as having a special ability, however chose not to disclose it. She said Hope was well-mannered, well-disciplined and full of respect.
They ended by saying, “Hope darling, we love you. Rest in peace.”
Parish priest Father Derek Anton urged parents to be aware of what they bring into their homes. “We all need to look inside ourselves. We cannot be bringing home pornographic materials and expect everything to be alright. We cannot be watching adult-rated movies and thinking that all will be well. “Souls are sick and only one can heal, and that is the divine physician: God. God is all that we need and we must put him first so that everything will fall into place,” he said.
Anton stated there was dire need for radical change in society but added that with change comes hurt and radical change brings more hurt.
He related that upon his first visit to Hope’s mother, he inquired why Rajoon had chosen this name for her daughter. “She told me she had a very difficult pregnancy and after her daughter was born, the doctors described her as a small miracle. This is why Sherma named her Hope.”
He was also told that Hope was very spiritual and helped her class teacher distribute the weekly Catholic News publication to other teachers in school. He said he understands Hope regularly carried the Catholic News home and would read it from cover to cover, as well as to her mother and other neighbours.
Hope went missing from her Umesh Drive, Lime Head Road, Chaguanas home last Saturday (May 24). Her body was found in a canefield at Connector Road, Pierre Road, Chaguanas, last Tuesday.
Her mother’s friend, Sunil Ali, 28, was arrested and charged for her murder. A day after he appeared before a Chaguanas magistrate, on Friday evening, he was found hanging with both wrists slashed.
Outside the Chaguanas Magistrate’s Court on Thursday, Ali was jeered by scores of people, mainly women. He was also threatened by prisoners who were being brought to court that morning. Many prisoners told Ali that he would pay for what he had done.