Today, two years after Shanice Cooper – then seven months pregnant – went missing, a man is expected to be charged with her murder.
On the morning of August 28th, 2019, the then 28-year-old left her mother’s Belmont home but never returned.
Guardian Media contacted Shanice’s mother this morning, but when we called, Miss Philbert was unaware that a suspect was expected to be charged this morning.
Upon hearing the news, her mood immediately lifted, but she declined to be interviewed.
She said she suffers too much when she has to speak about her beloved daughter – her only child.
In the days and weeks since her niece’s disappearance, Shanice’s aunt, Pauline Cooper, never gave up the fight for justice.
Today, she said, that fight has finally paid off.
“What a morning to call me – we rejoice in Jesus’ name. Today, I feel so very, very elated. Very elated. You know the journey to justice has just started, but I believe he will be prosecuted,” she said.
“I have been praying for this moment and it was heard. This past week was hard.”
Last week, on August 23rd, the male suspect, known to Shanice, surrendered to police.
He was questioned by officers for two days but was released.
Instructions were given by the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions to charge him with Shanice’s murder.
The suspect, represented by attorney Fareed Ali, continues to maintain his innocence.
In the last year, Shanice’s story was featured multiple times in the Guardian Newspaper, as well as on CNC3’s special television program – Unspun.
She encouraged the relatives of missing persons to do everything they can to keep the stories of their loved ones alive.
“I had to, as you know, go to the newspapers and different media outlets and let her story be heard. You know, I never tired of sharing her story. Let people never forget that a family member is missing and in the hope that somebody out there, who knows something, will be moved by the persistence to convince them to speak,” Miss Cooper said.
“I was fearless in my pursuit for justice for my niece because I knew she deserved justice and what was done to her was just not right.”
Shanice Cooper was an employee of the Port Authority of Trinidad and Tobago.
At the time of her disappearance, she was seven months pregnant.
She was expecting a boy.
“They were in the height of planning the baby shower. They even came up with a colour scheme for the baby shower. And that same colour scheme would have been the colour of the clothes they were buying for the baby,” her aunt, Pauline, said in a 2020 interview with Guardian Media.
“My prayer is that one officer–like the ones you see in CSI–would never lose interest in this case. I pray that they will continue to investigate it until all the lies are unearthed. Until justice is served.”
Shanice Cooper has not been seen since she disappeared on August 28th 2019.
Reporter: Joshua Seemungal