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It has been three and a half months since bandits murdered 18-year-old Josiah Leonardo Scott and his body remains at a funeral home awaiting a burial from his mother and sister who are stranded in Canada.

Alisa Letren struggled to speak to Guardian Media yesterday as she recalled her husband’s phone call on March 28. She expected happy birthday greetings but got the debilitating news of Josiah’s murder that happened hours before.

Already grieving Josiah’s loss, 2020 proved vicious as her husband called two weeks ago, informing her that doctors diagnosed him with an aggressive Stage 4 cancer.

They said there is little they can do about his condition.

“I am pleading with the government to please allow me and my family to come home so I can bury my son and put him to rest. I need to get some closure. I really cannot see myself doing it any other way. I do not think I will be able to live with myself if I do it any other way.

“I have to take care of him, be with him one last time. I am pleading with the government to please approve my application and allow us to come home,” Letren said.

Her family is among a group of 22 citizens in Canada that is lobbying the Ministry of National Security for exemptions.

Some accessed exemptions last weeks, but Letren, her daughter Rachel and granddaughter were left out. She wants to know the criteria for exemption, as she believes her situation is urgent.

The Maraval mother of four left Trinidad last November to assist her daughter through a critical family crisis in Ontario, Canada. They scheduled their return to Trinidad for April. On March 21, National Security Minister Stuart Young announced that T&T’s borders would close on March 23 to stop the importation of COVID-19 cases. It left Letren with little time to book a flight. She said she contacted airlines but could not get a booking. She then called the T&T Consulate General in Toronto, but the staff told her that they could not help.

With funds running low, Letren said she gets anxious as she faces funeral costs, an ailing husband, a mortgage and other expenses. The family is staying in a friend’s home and Letren wants to return to Trinidad to find out why someone murdered her son.

According to a police report, Scott attended a memorial for a friend on March 27. As he dropped off a female friend at her Coconut Drive, Morvant home around 10 pm, someone ran up and stabbed him several times. He crashed Letren’s Nissan Tiida is an effort to get away. A week before, Scott’s friend, Joseph Chase, 19, was shot dead near his Bournes Road home. Investigators suspect that someone tried to rob Scott.

“It is very hard. I am really trying to be strong because if I do not, I will lose it. I do not know what will happen to my mind, and I am trying to keep my head strong. I am a very emotional person so if do not try to be strong, I will not be able to cope with anything else,” Letren said.