Less than a year after 96-year-old Utilda Joseph was honoured for being the eldest resident in her community, she was murdered at her Quarry Village, Siparia home.
Her murder rocked the community where she lived for several years and was well respected and loved. Joseph had one child, a son, who died from cancer four years ago at the age of 74.
She lived alone in a wooden house that had no electricity in an underdeveloped area at Hillview Lane.
Joseph’s lifeless body was discovered on her bed by a neighbour Dianne Paul on Saturday afternoon. Her left wrist was tied tightly with a piece of cloth while her other hand was under her back. Bloodstains were on the side of her mouth. Police believe that her killer crawled into her house after removing three louvre panes from a front window.
Speaking with reporters, Paul recalled that she last spoke with the elderly woman at her (Joseph) home on Friday around 3 pm. Around 12.30 pm on Saturday, she said, her daughter told her that she did not see Joseph in the hammock when she was passing. Paul grew concerned and decided to check on her.
The front door was locked.
After knocking and calling without any response, she told her 25-year-old son to pass through the space in the window where the louvres were missing and open the door for her.
They then discovered the elderly woman dead.
They called the ambulance and the police.
Paul said she always looked out for Joseph.
“I does look after her because I promise her son on his dying bed. He ask me and I promise to do it, because, she come like a grandmother to all children in the village here.”
Joseph Thompson, the elderly woman’s great-nephew lamented her murder.
“I have to side with Gary Griffith, a cockroach, that is a cockroach.” Thompson said his aunt spent the Easter week at his home in Moruga and he only dropped her back home last week Thursday. He usually checked on her twice a week and take her to the bank and grocery. Apart from a slight hearing impairment, he said she was very independent and healthy.
Former MP for the area and resident Nicole Oliviere recalled said last July, Joseph was honoured as the oldest person in the community by the Community Development Ministry at the opening of the community centre.
“It shows for anyone to treat an elderly person in this manner, it shows that you have no compassion as a human being. Our elderly citizens have lived so many years, they are a treasure. They are a walking history and we need to cherish them and learn from them and support them.”
Relatives and the former MP are calling for her killer or killers to be brought to justice.
Joseph would have celebrated her birthday in May.