This article was posted in the Newsday on June 16th 2013. Despite the hike to Rio Seco Waterfall being easy, it doesn’t mean things can’t go wrong. Also, it should be noted that a trap gun was found in the forest so be careful of exploring deep in the forest; there could be marijuana farmers who try to protect their plants by any means necessary. Try to always stay on well beaten trails and if you don’t know the way forward call off the hike and turn back. If you’re completely lost, head downslope till you find a river and follow it out.
One week after 46-year-old mother of three Bissoondaye Geeta Seenath vanished near the Rio Seco Waterfall, in Salybia, she was discovered by a villager, wandering along the Rio Seco River — mere metres from the location where she was last seen.
Police reported that at about 3pm yesterday, a villager from a nearby community was making his way along the river, conducting his own business, when he stumbled upon the Princes Town resident.
Seenath, of Chappel Street, Princes Town, was last seen at about 4.30pm on June 8, walking along a trail leading from the waterfall to the Salybia beach in Matura. Seenath was ahead of the group and the others lost track of her when they stopped to assist a teenaged boy who was having an asthma attack.
Yet despite a week of intense searches by members of the TT Police Service, the TT Defence Force, and the assistance of several volunteers, there was no visible trace or sign of the mother of three.
That all changed when a villager known as “Wire” made his way into the forest yesterday afternoon. It was said that he found Seenath sitting near the river, looking very dehydrated, and “a lot smaller (from circulated pictures)”, and sporting several minor injuries.
He immediately called out to the mother of three, and took her back along the pathway, and to his home, following which he notified the police as well as councillor for the area Terry Rondon. The missing woman was then taken to the Sangre Grande District Hospital where, up to press time, she was still said to be warded in a stable condition.
Police sources indicated that, while they have yet to take an official statement from the woman, they did question her, and she had informed them she had walked ahead of the group, following two “white men” who were walking along the trail as well, as she was anxious to reach back to base camp.
Along the way, she said she needed to relieve herself, and she walked off the path and went into some bushes. However, moments later, she was unable to locate the pathway. She reportedly told the police she called out repeatedly, and continued walking in the direction she thought the camp was. However, when some time passed and she could not find anyone in her group, she began to panic, and she then opted to go in the direction of the sound of rushing water, hoping that it would lead her to the river, and then the waterfall where she began her trail.
She told police she spent the next seven days following the river, until she was found by the villager yesterday afternoon.
Even though she bore some marks about her body which seemed to corroborate this, Police said they were still looking into other possibilities, revealing they had information that a woman matching her description had been seen in a house in the forested area.
Speaking to Sunday Newsday yesterday afternoon, Councillor Rondon said he felt very relieved that Seenath had been found, saying the prayers of many had been answered.
“We are so grateful. It is a miracle and we are glad that she was found alive, safe, and sound,” Rondon said.
He recalled that at about 3.30pm, he got a call from “Wire” informing him he had found Seenath and she was currently resting at his home.
“I dropped everything and immediately went up, and found her there. Dehydrated, her legs were swollen, she had cuts to the side of her body and she was complaining that she was in pain. So I immediately called the police and family, and the police came and we took her to the hospital where she is undergoing treatment.
“I have nothing but thanks for all the persons involved. Finding this woman was prayer of a family that is now answered. I have to thank the police, the soldiers, the villagers — especially “Wire” for all they did. I can only imagine what she went through, and judging from just the sight of her you know it wasn’t easy out there. A lot of us gave up hope on finding her, but we kept her in our prayers, and now here she is, safe, and in the care of doctors, recovering,” Rondon said. Attempt to reach relatives yesterday afternoon after the news broke proved futile, however, earlier in the day Seenath’s husband Mohan, said the family were holding out hope, and if she was found it would be the happiest Father’s Day gift he could receive, as it meant that his children would not be deprived of their mother in their lives.
Rondon however, did tell Sunday Newsday he did get in touch with relatives, and they were elated to know that Seenath was alive and well.
The search for Seenath was not without its falls either.
During the search a 23-year-old man lost his left arm when a trap gun went off. Police reported at about 5 pm on Thursday, Subinus Constantine, 47, and his brother Jonathan, 23, of Paramin were about six miles in a forested area off Mora Trace, Matura when Jonathan saw a piece of steel pipe protruding from the ground and attempted to pull it out when a trap gun went off with his left hand being shot off.