Laurel V Williams
A Princes Town couple who appear to have died by suicide over the weekend left a letter to their children – a nine-year-old daughter and a six-year-old son – apologising for leaving them without parents.
Shaline Ramkissoon, 38, and her common-law husband Steve “Ricky” Jugmohan, 40, died on Saturday.
Their daughter found the bodies in their La Paille Road home.
Ramkissoon’s grieving mother, Rena Ramkissoon, 61, later found the hand-written letter addressed to “my sweet kids.”
“We are so sorry for what we have done but we are in too deep with little or no time. We really tried but we never got through. (Daughter’s name) please help take care of (son’s name),” the letter said.
“Ricky said the green-band maxi belongs to him and he is leaving it for (daughter and son). Everything that he was supposed to get here he is leaving it for (daughter and son). We love you both but our time ran out. Sorry babies.”
The letter was signed by Ramkissoon and included Jugmohan’s name and identification card number. Ramkissoon’s relatives said it was her handwriting.
The girl found her parents dead shortly before noon on Saturday.
She told relatives that earlier, they hugged and kissed her then said their goodbyes. She then went to sleep not knowing it would be the last time they would speak to her.
“Mom and Dad came, hugged and kissed me. They said bye-bye, and I went back to lay on the bed,” the girl told relatives.
She was up earlier to care for her pet dog but went back to sleep after hugging and kissing her parents.
When the girl woke up, her nightmare began. At first, she thought her mother was asleep on the ground near the bed. The child went to the bathroom and found her father’s body.
“I was calling her, and she was not waking up,” the girl recalled on Monday. The girl alerted other relatives.
Ramkissoon, a Play Whe booth operator, and Jugmohan, lived on the ground floor of his family’s home with their two children.
Ramkissoon has two other children, 15 and 16, from a previous relationship. They live abroad with their father.
Jugmohan has a daughter from a previous relationship and she lives on the top floor of the house with his mother and other relatives.
Ramkissoon’s daughter is now staying at the home of Ramkissoon’s parents in St John’s Village in San Fernando. However, the girl’s brother is with their father’s mother.
On Friday night, the child sat in the same room where the couple recorded a video on a cell phone about what they intended to do. The couple and children shared the same bedroom. The couple also expressed their love for their children.
The couple also said they had financial problems.
Ramkissoon’s mother told Newsday that her granddaughter did not see when the couple took their last breaths. The girl’s brother, who has a hole in his heart, was on the top floor with relatives.
Rena said Ramkissoon would usually drop off the children at her home on mornings and pick them up in the evening or night after work.
On Saturday, Ramkissoon had already packed the children’s bag to spend the day with their grandparents. Rena found the letter in the bag.
Rena said she had no idea how much money her daughter owed or who she owed it to.
To help pay off the debt, Rena and her 75-year-old husband Ramesh Ramkissoon, as well as relatives abroad, gave Ramkissoon a total of $50,000 late last year.
“The money I had to fix my house, I give her. I am not well off, but anybody could pass by my old house here and get a meal. We are humble poor people. Shaline was stressed out and worried.
“Whenever I buy groceries, I buy food for my grandchildren. I love my 11 or 12 grandchildren and my great grand equally. I always pray for God to bless them. Every day they (Ramkissoon’s children) are here by me. They have been going to school from here.”
Jugmohan’s family has the other child, but Rena does not want the children to be separated. She wants to care for both.
Ramkissoon’s sister Nandie Ramkissoon said members of the Children’s Authority visited the home on Sunday.
Members of the police’s Victim Support Unit visited the family on Monday.
Nandie said: “When I saw Shaline (Shaline’s body) she looked like a sleeping doll. She looked really beautiful. I do not know who they were owing or for what reason.”
Sgt Malloo of the Princes Town police station is leading investigations.
Anyone who needs help can call Lifeline (24-hour hotline) at 800-5588, 231-2824 or 220-3636
In case of an emergency (attempted suicide), people can call 990, 811 or 999.