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'Mama don't worry Yvonne will come home'

"Mama don't worry. Yvonne will come home," were Caroline Jonsson's words to her weeping mother Chamalka who was waiting anxiously for her eldest daughter Yvonne to return home. But she never returned.

Yvonne Jonsson (19) was found murdered last Friday at the 19th floor of the Royal Park Condominium in Rajagiriya.

The casket carrying Yvonne's remains was lying in the main hall of her apartment. It was surrounded with wreaths.

Chamalka (40), father Roger (54) and the youngest sister Caroline (17) expressed their thoughts on Yvonne's murder to the Daily News.

Chamalka said she had known the boy suspected of murdering Yvonne for a long time. "He was a childhood friend of Yvonne and Caroline. All of them studied at the Colombo International School and the boy's family was well known to us. After completing the CIS studies, Yvonne went to the USA in December to follow a fashion designer course. Most media reports have said that the suspect was Yvonne's boyfriend which was not true. He was Caroline's boyfriend."

Caroline, only sister of Yvonne, recalled the events of the night the murder took place.

"My sister and I went to pick Shramantha (the suspect) from Bagatale Road. We went in Yvonne's vehicle. Then we went to White Horse in Navam Mawatha. We met four of our friends there. From White Horse we went to Glow, and then three of us again went to Blue Elephant at the Hilton.

"As there was no crowd, we again went to the Glow. There we met another Korean girl, who was a family friend of ours. The four of us went back to Blue Elephant and we were there only for 10 minutes. We went to the main entrance of the Hilton to get Yvonne's car from the Valet parking.

That night I had an argument with my boy friend Shramantha. I was crying and decided to get a cab from Hilton to go home. My sister Yvonne noticed that I was in tears and blamed Shramantha. My sister and the Korean girl left the Hilton and went back to Glow. I got into the Hilton cab with him and came home. It was after 2.00 a.m.

"After staying at my place for some time, he called a cab from my room and left. At that time I assumed that he had gone. I left the door unlocked for my sister to come in. I wrote a note to her : "When you come home please wake me up" and went to my room to sleep.

On Friday morning my mother woke me up to go for classes and inquired about Yvonne. I received a SMS from Shramantha. I sent a message to him saying that my sister never came home last night. In reply he sent a message saying: " She must be still rocking it". Then I called the Korean girl from my landline and asked her where my sister was. According to her, she has left Yvonne at Glow and had gone to Taj."

Chamalka and Caroline left home around 9.30 am on Friday to attend classes. But as a mother Chamalka felt something 'unusual' as she was worried about her daughter's missing.

Chamalka said: "While we were half way, I realised that I had not seen my daughter at all last night. Even if she was going for a swim, she used to tell me. I was so depressed with the situation and asked the driver to drive back home. I saw a police jeep near the entrance to the Royal Park and my frightened thoughts were intensified.

"I asked my younger daughter to be in the vehicle till I went up. Some police persons were standing in front of my house. I phoned one of my friends and said that my daughter is missing and asked her to come soon. That friend asked me why I didn't speak to the police, that it must be an accident. But I told my friend that it can't be because Yvonne's vehicle was parked down stairs. I asked Caroline to come up.

By the way the Police have found an ID photograph of Yvonne and asked me : " Do you know anything about her. I was shivering and Caroline was comforting me saying " Mama don't worry, she will come home. `Meanwhile my friend whom I phoned came and asked: 'Do you know what had happened?, I said I don't want to know and he said that Yvonne had been murdered in the same building. I saw my daughter for the last only on Thursday. I did not go to the place where the murder took place, I have no guts and still I could not believe what had happened to my loving daughter."

Caroline who has lost her loving sister said: "Shramantha and I were close friends for so many years. But we started dating from February. My sister never liked him. She said that Shramantha does not match me. But whenever three of us went out, we behaved like good friends.

I don't know in detail about the argument that it is said to have taken place that fateful day. The last message I got from him was that he and his father were going out to a estate. The whole family could not be reached after this incident.

"But on Saturday July 2 afternoon, Shramantha along with her mother and brother came here and even the mother hugged me as well. As we were advised by the police that it is very important to get Shramantha's statement, we phoned the CID at that time and they took him to custody," she said.

Father of Yvonne, Roger, wants justice to take its course without any outside interference.

Roger is in Sri Lanka for the past 15 years. He operates two BOI Rubber manufacturing companies in Piliyandala and Horana. He first visited in Sri Lanka as a tourist in 1975.

"I was called by my wife on that fateful day to come soon home. But it took one hour to come here from Horana. The police even wanted to search my car. I went to the scene and I have never seen an incident like this in my life before. She was lying in a pool of blood with the face down.

The whole face was gone. So far I am satisfied with the Sri Lankan police and the CID investigations," the grieving father said.

A neighbour at Royal Park, Janaki Karunarathne who is staying at level 22 said: "I have visited the scene and one cannot explain in words how Yvonne had been murdered.

It was a brutal murder. She was strangled with her black stockings and the murderer had dashed her head several times. She didn't have a face at all. Her wallet was missing too".

However several residents of the Royal Park pointed out that not repairing the non-functional video camera system was a big mistake by the management of the condominium. It has not been working or two years.

Meanwhile many sources also pointed out the significance of the fingerprints which have been sealed three days after the murder. Source also said that the 19th floor where the murder took place had been sealed only on last Sunday.

According to the sources, the suspect Shramantha, a former student of Colombo International School, comes from a well-known business family in Colombo.

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