Maria Virgil, as she spoke with Guardian Media at her home in Bon Accord, Tobago. (Image: VINDRA GOPAUL)

A month after Sonny Virgil, 78, went missing, relatives discovered that he had died of COVID-19.

Relatives thought that Virgil, a pensioner and a resident of La Canoa, Santa Cruz, went missing on November 28. He was instead taken to the Arima District Hospital and later died at that facility on December 1 of Covid-19.

His sister Maria Virgil, a resident of Bon Accord, Tobago spoke with Guardian Media on Wednesday at her Issac Street home.

Maria said she had engaged in a frantic search for her brother. She said at one time she thought that Sonny may be living with a woman in Mayaro, since he was a bachelor.

Recalling her ordeal, she told Guardian Media:

“The last time I spoke to him was in November, and I had called.  We normally check up on each other. I called and I didn’t get his phone. I called again so I thought he had lost the phone as happened before. I made some calls and told the family I wasn’t getting through and he may have lost the phone as he did before.”

“I told a niece who lives in D’Abadie to check on him, and if he lost the phone to buy another one for him. She went and did not see him. She went back home, and I spoke with her. I told her to go back and talk with the neighbours and ask them when they last saw him. Nobody had seen him for a little while,” she said.

Maria said she made contact with neighbours and one neighbour informed her that he may have gone to Mayaro. Maria said he spoke with the police at Mayaro and Santa Cruz.

Maria had also spoken with the Hunters Association who started a search for her brother.  She was told by the Association she needed to speak with the authorities at the Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex (EWMSC). She recounted:

“I spoke with a social worker at Mount Hope [referring to the EWMSC].  She said a doctor at Arima wanted to talk to somebody, when they saw the flyer, they also called the Arima Hospital, the social hospital. Yesterday [December 28th] I was able to talk to a doctor there. They said he was brought in by ambulance on the 28th of November and his oxygen was fluctuating, and he eventually passed on December 1st.” 

Maria Virgil said she never thought that Sonny had been abducted.

“I was telling my brother and others that he may have found a li’l girlfriend in Mayaro and was probably down there, and that kept me thinking he may be okay,” she said.