At 82 years old and one of T&T’s most avid and prolific historians, Fr Michael Anthony de Verteuil CSSp, former principal (1978-1992) of his alma mater of St Mary’s College in Port-of-Spain, st
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Killer dad was ‘abusive’
Twenty-four-year old Okilia Mayers held her stomach and wailed in grief as she watched the bodies of her two children being removed by undertakers from behind a tree, near a pumpkin garden at Mora Trace in the quite village of Matura, yesterday morning. “Oh God, why he do this? I want my children,” she screamed as relatives tried to console her. The bodies of the children and of their father laid at the scene on blankets for more than six hours before they were taken away.
33-year-old Barry Karimath of Cipriani Avenue Morvant, allegedly drove the children to the location on Saturday night where he reportedly gave them a poisonous substance to drink, before ingesting it himself. The murder-suicide took to five the number of similar killings for 2014, this being the first involving children. (See timeline below.)
According to District Medical Officer (DMO), Verintan Okolo, who spoke with the T&T Guardian at the scene, ten-month-old Omari and his two-year-old sister Keyanna Mayers, drank a herbicide, as they displayed the classic symptoms of herbicide poisoning. Bottles of herbicide were also found at the scene, he said.
“On examination of the bodies, it was obvious it was a case of suicide. The man himself, who also had something tied around his neck, was frothing from the mouth. And when I examined the children it was also consistent with poisoning because the girl had epistaxis, which is bleeding from the nose and frothing from the mouth,” explained Okolo. He said the children’s bodies bore no marks of violence.
The grieving mother told the T&T Guardian that Karimath was possessive, obsessed with her and she was often subjected to physical abuse during their three-year relationship. Mayers, who lives in Barataria, said was expected to pick up her children sometime this week from their father’s home, where she dropped them off on Friday night before going to work. “I know I should not have left my children you know. Oh God, but I had nobody else to keep them and I just get a work so I had to go,” she sobbed.
She explained it was not the first time he made threats to her, but it was the first time he threatened to hurt the children. “He always threatened me and I would just not take him on sometimes, but I was always very afraid he might do something really bad some day to me, but not the children,” she admitted.
“The whole point in this, is that he wanted to be with me still and I did not want to be with him anymore because he was real possessive. He would bully me and beat me. He used to monitor all my movements and always watching who I talk to,” revealed Mayers. She said she could not even go to visit her six-year-old daughter from a previous relationship because Karimath would think she was going to reunite with the child’s father whom she lived with.
“I used to have to hide and go and see her behind his back,” she said. Mayers said Karimath would find her anywhere she went. “Before he moved to Morvant he was living in Woodbrook and he left Woodbrook and moved up in Barataria just to monitor my movements,” she added. When asked to describe her children, she said they were so loving and calm…always quiet. She recalled her last conversation with her children was when she dropped them off at Karimath’s home on Friday.
“I remember Keyanna asked me where I was going and I told her I was going to work and she smiled. Then I kissed her and Omari and told them I would see them after work. That never happened,” she said shaking her head. Mayers said, if she had only got out of the relationship earlier, her children might still be alive, but she was so afraid of him, that if she left completely, he would try to kill her. “But look any which way I chose, I would have lost. It was either me or them. But it should not have been them,” she cried.
Five murder/suicides in four months
There have been five murder/suicides in the first four months of the year, four of them involving men killing women in crimes of passion.
January 4—Shastri Roopnarine, 24, and his girlfriend Amanda Persad, 22, are found dead in their Ramcharan Drive, San Juan apartment. Police believe it was a murder/suicide but have not found a motive. The incident reportedly occurred around 12.30 am when residents said they heard something like fireworks. At 3 pm, when they did not see the couple, they called the police. Persad was shot several times while Roopnarine had a single gunshot to his head. A gun lay next to Roopnarine’s body.
Roopnarine was arrested as a robbery suspect and later released due to a lack of evidence.
January 9—Sanjeev Rambaran and his ex-wife Dian Paladee, 49, are found dead in his Bedassie Street, St Augustine home in what was believed to be another murder/suicide. Paladee, a teacher at the El Dorado South Hindu School, was an heiress to the Pennywise chain of cosmetic stores. She was divorced from her husband but had been secretly visiting him. She was found on his bed with one shot to her head.
Rambaran lay a few feet away with a gunshot wound. Police found a rolling pin between the two bodies and said Paladee appeared to have been beaten.
March 4—One day after allegedly murdering his common-law wife Marilyn Murggan, Cepep worker Harold Ali, 55, dies after drinking poison on Carnival Tuesday night. Murggan was found in her Carapichaima bathroom in a semi-conscious state with marks on her neck. She died on arrival at the Couva District Health Facility Two hours later, Ali was found by passersby on a Gasparillo roadside two hours after strangling Murggan. He died the following day at hospital from poisoning.
Ali and Murggan were reportedly involved in an argument over money
March 31—Pastor Vishnu “Kitty” Lutchmansingh, 54, kills his brother, Kishan Lutchmansingh, injured his nephew, attempts to kill two other nephews and then reportedly commits suicide. This murder/suicide theory is being carefully investigated, however. The body believed to be his was found inside his house which relatives said he set afire after he killed his brother. The autopsy found this person was shot from behind, inconsistent with suicide and sent the remains of the body for DNA testing.
The cause of the killing remains unclear. Relatives have denied it had to do with a land dispute but admitted the two brothers had differences.
April 13—Barry Karamath kills his two children in remote Matura. Police yesterday said their mother was in shock and was not saying anything. (YB)