Sally Sooman, cousin of Andrea Bharatt, is escorted by police officers after viewing Bharatt’s body which was discovered in the Heights of Aripo yesterday.

Hours before the body of his missing daughter was discovered in the Heights of Aripo, the father of Andrea Bharatt had to be treated for depression and shock, and relatives now fear his health could deteriorate further.

Yesterday morning, Randolph Bharatt’s hopes of finding his 23-year-old daughter began to diminish.

“He kept saying days now this is not feeling right…this not feeling right. He (was) getting a bad feeling,” said Sally Sooman, Andrea’s cousin who was with Bharatt when he identified his daughter’s decomposing body shortly after 3 pm yesterday.

Sooman said it was as if Bharatt had an intuition that Andrea was not going to come back home.

Bharatt’s worst fears were realised yesterday.

“We are still in shock. Andrea’s father is the same way…he still in shock. He couldn’t even bawl or cry,” Sooman told Guardian Media in a brief telephone interview after viewing the body.

Andrea, a clerk at the Arima Magistrate’s Court was kidnapped last Friday after she went into a taxi with a co-worker.

The co-worker dropped off at Cleaver Heights, Arima but Andrea never made it home.

In an earlier interview with Guardian Media yesterday, Sooman said since the kidnapping, 54-year-old Bharatt has not been his normal self.

Sooman asked a doctor to visit Bharatt at his Arima Old Road, Arima home after he had stopped eating, barely slept and became withdrawn.

She came to the conclusion that depression and shock were setting in.

“He has not been coping very well,” Sooman said.

Sooman said Bharatt started to “stress out and worry” which triggered a skin condition.

“He really took this kidnapping hard. The man crying right through, right through,” Sooman said.

“This morning I cooked some food for him but I don’t know if he will eat. I am trying everything because we are beginning to get worried.”

After six days of no sustenance, Sooman said Bharatt started to lose weight which bothered her to no end.

“He just went into a shell. So I had to make all the decisions on everything because his mind seems to be far away and unsettled.”

Sooman said she tried to lift Bharatt’s spirits but nothing worked.

“I even brought a few religious leaders at his home to pray with him.”

She said she took into consideration that Andrea was all Bharatt had after his wife Sandy died eight years ago.

“Andrea was his eyeball…his life. She was his world. He lived for her.”

Sooman said Bharatt also developed some unusual behaviour in the last few days.

“Sometimes he would disappear in the house and when I look for him he would be kneeling and praying at the foot of Andrea’s bed. It’s as if he was asking God to answer his prayers….to bring his daughter back home.”

This, Sooman said became a habit.

“Every chance he got he prayed in her room,” Sooman said, choked with emotions.

Andrea’s disappearance, Sooman said also affected her tremendously.

“It started eating me inside out. I considered Andrea as my own child. We were very close. It’s hard coping without her. I am feeling as if a part of my life has been taken.”

When Guardian Media visited the Bharatt’s home after 5 pm, several police officers were gathered outside the house, while the front gate remained locked.

Michael Bobb who lives next to the Bharatt’s said Andrea’s death was too much to bear.

Bobb sat under his garage in disbelief.

“I know Andrea from a baby growing up. To see she got big and her life was taken away from her, boy. It is something else.”

He described Andrea as “just cool and quiet. I don’t know what to say. When you leave your house you don’t know if you will come back home.”