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Anna-Marie Diaz

The tiny community of Platoo Road, Todds Road, in Central Trinidad was rocked yesterday morning as residents awoke to the news of a murder suicide – after Anna-Marie Diaz, 47, was brutally murdered by her common-law husband Amar Zoongie, 43, who later took his own life.

According to police resident, Martin Dhanraj went into the bushes around 6 yesterday morning to tend to his crops when he discovered Zoongie’s lifeless body, with a bottle nearby.

He alerted others in the community, who contacted the police.

Diaz’s children told Guardian Media that just as Zoongie’s body was found, her son was trying to reach her by phone to babysit for him.

When she did not answer despite his repeated calls, he sent one of her younger children to go in the house to contact her, when the gruesome discovery was made.

“ My brother (Nigel) called her phone, she usually babysits for him. He lives two houses away, when she was not answering he came over and looked in the bedroom window. He sent my younger brother inside through the window and they discovered she was dead,” according to the woman’s daughter Alicia Samuel.

Diaz was found in a bedroom, with multiple head and upper body injuries.

Police suspect, she was beaten to death by Zoongie who fled and later consumed a poisonous substance.

Samuel said Zoongie had been going around telling villagers that he would kill Diaz.

She said the couple had been together for 17 years and had one son aged 15.

The grieving daughter said her mother had ended her relationship with Zoongie several years ago and had asked Zoongie to leave the house. However, the 43-year-old labourer demanded that he stay in the house. He lived in a separate room while Diaz slept in a room at the bottom of the house.

Samuel, one of Diaz’s seven children, said, “We have to cope and get over with it and we have to be there for one another. My mother was always a loving person. We did not believe that she would be taken away from us so.”

Samuel said she would remember her mother for her kindness, and described her as a “real darling with a soft heart.”

Police said Diaz endured physical abuse from Zoongie for years and recently decided to move on with her life even though he refused to leave the house.