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Keithisha Cudjoe

A decomposed body that was found at the Heights of Aripo on Friday has been identified as that of a Cocorite woman who was reported missing on the weekend, 21-year-old Keithisha Cudjoe, a mother of one.

Cudjoe’s body was only positively identified yesterday at the Forensic Science Centre by her relatives.

The body was so badly decomposed, the relatives were only able to identify it was her by the shoes, glasses and bits of clothing.

Cudjoe was last seen last week Monday.

She lived with a close male friend in Cocorite.

However, it wasn’t until Saturday that a missing person’s report was made to police by relatives.

The report was made a day after a beekeeper stumbled upon a decomposed body in the Heights of Aripo, just mere metres from where the body of Andrea Bharatt was found on February 4 a year ago.

Police, who at the time did not have an identity on the body, release a statement on Sunday asking for the public’s urgent assistance in finding ‘missing woman’ Keithisha Cudjoe.

That release stated that Cudjoe, of Harding Place, Cocorite, was last seen at 8:30 pm on Monday 24th January, 2022.

“She was reported missing by a relative to the St James Police Station on Saturday 29th January, 2022.

Police said that the beekeeper found the body at 5.15 pm on Friday while going into the forest to see about his beehives.

Investigators said that given the confirmation on the body’s identity and the advanced state of decomposition it is suspected that Cudjoe may have been killed sometime between Monday night and Tuesday morning.

Speaking with the Guardian Media yesterday, Cudjoe’s friend, with whom she lived, said he was hurt by the news of her death.

“I spoke to her on Monday (last week) and she didn’t say where she was going. She just said she was going out.”

Asked if she would have most likely used public transportation, the man, who did not disclose his name replied: “Well to my knowledge she usually travels. I don’t know if she called a driver or what that day.”

He described her as a “sweet and enthusiastic spirit.”

The man said Cudjoe was originally from Diego Martin and was working at a gas station in El Socorro.

“The crime situation is unbearable and we need to do something about it. It has drastically angered me yes and as far as I know she never got any threats or anything to my knowledge,” the man added.

A relative, who also spoke to the Guardian Media said they await the autopsy report later this week on the cause of death.

“She was staying by a friend and his sister-in-law and then we notice we not getting any feedback or any messages from her which we found odd cause her phone is normally on,” the relative said.

“I spoke to her Monday around lunchtime…she asked me to connect a call to her boss, and I did it and then I told her call me when she reach home and this was the last conversation we had. We confirmed it is her body that was found by her shoes and her glasses and bits of clothing,” the relative added.

“We are was just in disbelief and very shocked. I couldn’t believe it when they said that was her body. She was a lively, helpful, caring and loving person. She was the mother of a three-year-old boy. It really hurt me to hear this.”

Police said Cudjoe’s body was found about 50 to 75 feet in the bushes.

When officers went to the area on Friday they found the body lying face down with a grey coloured top, no underwear, with grey coloured socks, and a sneaker on the right foot.

Police from the Homicide Bureau of Investigations Region II are continuing inquiries.

The discovery has brought back memories of the death of Andrea Bharatt whose body was discovered on February 4 last year after a search spanning several days after she too was reported missing.

Her body was found by a scrap metal collector in the Heights of Aripo in the same area that Cudjoe’s body was found.

Subsequent to Bharatt’s body being found, residents in the area had said that they were fed-up complaining to their area representatives of the poorly lit area, as some areas had no street lights.

Residents had also said that because the area is very dark at night and heavily forested, criminals frequently went there to dump bodies or conduct illegal transactions.

Soon after the Bharatt tragedy, police, soldiers and hunters scoured the area and found bones of other human beings there.

In a Guardian report dated February 10, 2021 Public Utilities Minister Marvin Gonzales had promised to send a T&TEC team to Aripo that would file a report to be submitted to him for review.

There were also calls for a police post to be established in the community.

However, residents said nothing has been done to date.