Ten years have elapsed since Akiel Chambers' lifeless body was found at the bottom of a pool at a house in Haleland Park, Maraval.
Relatives continue to hope and pray that the perpetrators who murdered him will be soon apprehended even as police sources say they have reached a dead end.
In an interview with the Sunday Express on Friday, on the anniversary of Chambers' death, an uncle of the dead child, Earl Joseph, said: "Give up hope, no, we are just waiting for justice. We have placed all our faith in God and God knows what happened and who are responsible, we have not given up."
Chambers was 11 when he was fished out of the pool at the the Balata Terrace, Haleland Park, Maraval, home of businessman Charles James who was then married to Annelore James. The latter had hosted a pool party for the couple's daughter, Carrie, on May 23, 1998.
Carrie was Chambers' classmate and was celebrating her 11th birthday. Both were students at Blackman's Private School in Maraval. Chambers lived with his aunt Valerie Pascal at 80-82 Henry Street, Port of Spain; his mother Deobrah lived in England and his father Rawle in La Horquetta, Arima.
On Friday, Joseph claimed several people who testified at Chambers' inquest were not totally honest.
"In fact there was a lot of covering up. Why would someone keep a secret for so long, God knows how I hurt, I love my nephew, Akiel is my brother's first child, we have not gotten any justice and what is more scary is that the killer is still out there," he said.
"How can someone live with the knowledge of what really happened to Akiel and not say anything? Akiel would have been a 21-year-old gentleman, having celebrated his birthday on January 4, the same day as me," Joseph added.
Two autopsies were conducted separately on Chambers' body by pathologists Dr Neville Jankey and Dr Hughvon des Vignes. Two inquests were also conducted and Chief Magistrate Sherman McNicolls, officiating as Coroner, ruled on February 18, 2004, that he was satisfied Chambers did not drown accidentally during the pool party.
Attorneys Desmond Allum, SC, Dr Kenneth O'Brien, Donna Prowell and Brent Ali represented the Chambers family while Act Insp Kenneth Cordner represented the police.
Allum told the court all the evidence pointed to the body being placed in the pool.
"Although at this stage no one is able to be identified, it (evidence) points directly to the commission of an indictable offence, whether manslaughter, murder or certainly the offence of buggery," had said, adding that "It would be a stain on society's conscience" if the incident was not further investigated.
Allum also told McNicolls that "It was evident that a number of per sons have tried to keep the truth away from you."
With respect to DNA testing, the anal swab which showed the presence of sperm in Chambers anal cavity was destroyed after being kept in storage for two years. Even the pair of red trunks loaned to Chambers by accounting executive Patrick Young at the party did not contain any evidence.
Police sources have reported reaching a dead end.
"The only way to solve this case is if Akiel's killer comes forward and confesses," said one officer.
- Valerie Pascal currently resides in Canada. She migrated last year.
- On February 5, 2006, Annelore James, 59, lost her leg when she stopped to help an accident victim on the Solomon Hochoy Highway.
James was driving when she saw a car slam into one of the concrete pillars on the highway.
She stopped to assist the driver, Wendell Deheart, 40, who was trapped inside the car, bleeding profusely.
As James was trying to pull him out of the vehicle, another car crashed into James.
Her right leg was almost completely severed and she sustained a broken right arm and shoulder. Doctors amputated her leg. She currently resides in Arima and is divorced from James. A plea was also made on the internet by James' daughter, Chantel, seeking funds for her mother "to go to Canada and get the best prosthetics they have."
- Carrie James, 21, who is currently employed at her father's JMH businessplace, is on maternity leave.
- Trevor Craigwell, a businessman who accompanied his sons, Anthony and Christopher, to the 1998 pool party, migrated in 2003 to Connecticut, USA.
He was summoned by McNicolls and subsequently testified along with his son, Anthony.
Christopher currently faces a murder charge after allegedly pummelling his grandfather, Morris King Sr, 80, into a coma during what police call a "drug-induced rage" at King's Putney area, Connecticut, home on February 6 this year.
King succumbed to his injuries a day after being beaten by Christopher. He told police that he had hit his grandfather and recalled using an object, but could not remember what it was.
- Charles James, asked for his views on the status of investigations said:
"Why are you bringing this up? I have done everything I can in this matter. The police cannot solve crimes now, what makes you think they can solve this after all the time which has passed?"
- Patrick Young, who testified on February 18, 2004, that he loaned Chambers a pair of his son's swimming trunks at the party said:
"I have no comment at all, what do you want me to say?" and quickly hung up the telephone. During the inquest McNicolls had asked Young: "Have you been sleeping well lately?" Young said his sinuses were acting up; that was why his eyes appeared exhausted.
The Coroner replied: "Under your eyes, they are dark, aren't they? Are you sure it's not your conscience bothering you?" Young said, "No, not at all!"
- Diana Mahabir Wyatt, Chairman of the Coalition Against Domestic Violence
In 2005, the Coalition Against Domestic Violence officially launched the Akiel Chambers Memorial Trust Fund to assist children who are sexually abused, with an initial $20,000 from PowerGen.
"We have not had any money donated for the past three years. We have been using our general funds from the Coalition for any counselling of children,' she said on Friday, while lamenting the fact that sexual abuse of children was growing in T&T.
She said that while the Ministry of Social Development has been approached on numerous occasions for assistance, no help has been forthcoming.