Tecia’s body was found on Wednesday under a house at Plaisance Terrace, not too far from the family home at Essex Road, John John, Laventille, four days after she went missing after being sent to purchase bread at a nearby parlour. She would have been 11 next Thursday.
There are disturbing undercurrents surrounding Tecia’s death but perhaps, the redeeming feature on Wednesday, in an otherwise largely squalid affair, has been the sympathetic response of Social Development Minister, Dr Amery Browne, who, accompanied by Minister Alicia Hospedales, personally went to visit Tecia’s family at their John John home. In addition, Minister Browne requested of Minister of Housing, Dr Emily Gaynor Dick-Forde, on behalf of the family of the murdered child, that a new home be found for Tecia’s mother, Diane Henry, and her siblings. Dr Browne later advise that Minister Dick-Forde informed him she was having her staff identify new accommodation for the Henry family. The nagging question which must be on the lips of many is what manner of beasts could have been responsible for the abduction and murder of Tecia and why? While we do not wish to add to any speculation, nonetheless, published reports that a feud had been triggered between residents of North and South Plaisance Terrace, Block Eight, John John, following on discovery of Tecia’s decomposing body, and that guns had been fired into the air, are clear reasons for national concern. The burning of two homes is also worrying. Several residents have voiced threats to finish what had been “started”, when the police were not around. We urge calm and restraint.
Meanwhile, because of yet earlier reports that persons having been shot and killed in Laventille and surrounding areas and, indeed other low income areas as well, in retaliation for other murders, these threats should not be dismissed or taken lightly. Instead, until tempers appear to have cooled down somewhat, the Protective Services should maintain a highly visible presence in John John. The Police Service, whose Special Anti Crime Unit of Trinidad and Tobago (SAUTT) issued fliers to Plaisance Terrace residents on Wednesday, shortly after Tecia’s body had been found, “appealing for any persons with information regarding the circumstances surrounding” her death to call 623-5202 or 800-8477, should repeat the call on a regular basis, including the advice that each report would be treated in confidence. Additionally, counselling should be offered, not only to members of Tecia’s family, but to neighbours of the Henry family as well. It is of crucial importance that those responsible for the brutal slaying of the ten-year-old innocent be brought to justice as quickly as possible. Apart from having whoever may be responsible arrested, charged and duly placed before the Courts early, and more so with the aid of eyewitness testimony to her kidnapping and related matters, public support leading to any such arrest may trigger similar responses in other and as yet unsolved cases of murders.
Tit for tat murders are not the answer for apart from being unlawful and in the process crimes themselves, this approach can go on indefinitely. In the same manner that individuals, who were angry and upset at Tecia’s murder challenged some of the police officers, who sought to calm them down, they should instead be prepared to come forward, under the protective cloak of confidentiality, to provide the police, not with needless publicly voiced examples of their anger, but with information which would assist in leading to a possible conviction of young Tecia’s killers. There must be several persons out there who know or have reason to believe who Tecia’s kidnappers and/or killers are. No one should have to remind them that their moral duty is to help the police arrest and charge Tecia’s killers.