Trinidad: After Six Months, Family Of Dead Fisherman Still Waiting For DNA Results For Final Rites

(TT GUARDIAN) – “Nobody knows how we hurting,” cried Wendy Khemchan, as she begged for the results of the DNA tests so her brother, Rishi Khemchan, could be laid to rest.

For the past six months, the family has been praying and hoping to receive the results from the Forensic Science Centre (FSC) in Port-of-Spain.

Khemchan, 38, of Mayaro, Heeralal “Linus” Cooblal, 54, of Grand Lagoon, Mayaro, Andy “Tallman” George, 40, of Valencia and George Joti left Guayaguayare on January 31 for a fishing trip.

The vessel they were in was found on February 5, and on February 11 Khemchan’s badly decomposed body was discovered in a mangrove in Venezuela.

His relatives identified his body to the Venezuelan authorities based on his clothing, dentures and physical features. An autopsy was done and then his body was brought back to Trinidad, with a death certificate and other documentation, on March 10.

DNA samples were taken from them on March 25.

In an interview with Guardian Media at their home over the weekend, Khemchan’s sister Wendy broke down in tears.

She said her family is hurting and they are considering protesting in front of the FSC.

“Our family willing to go down to the Forensic Science Centre and protest and do what we have to do to get my brother’s body because it is really unbearable right now and hurts so much. It really, really hurting, nobody don’t know,” she said.

His other sister, Kavita, said they have been knocking on doors but have received no answer from the police or FSC when her brother’s body would be released to them.

Lamenting that they had already printed jerseys and banners for his funeral, she pleaded with the authorities to intervene.

Close family friend Gailann Clarke said, “I’m pleading, I’m begging to get Rishi Khemchan’s remains. Please, someone in authority, help us. Please help us get Rishi Khemchand’s remains so we can put him to rest.”

Last week, Mayaro MP Rushton Paray called on National Security Minister Fitzgerald Hinds to take immediate, decisive action in this matter.

When contacted, officials of the FSC said the results are expected to be processed in a month to six weeks.

Meanwhile, there has been no update on the three other missing men.