DNA to confirm ID of burned bodyMayor Marlene Coudray is in Jamaica to help identify her missing daughter Michelle (inset). (Internet Image)
Fri, June 15, 2012 - 7:40 PM
KINGSTON, Jamaica – Jamaican police are using dental records and a DNA sample to help confirm whether a woman’s badly burned body found in the west of the island is that of missing Trinidadian teacher Michelle Coudray-Greaves, the daughter of the Mayor of San Fernando Marlene Coudray.
Police officials said they expected to conclusively identify the remains from DNA by Wednesday.
But the closest to a positive identification has come from her mother, who was able to identify a bracelet and hair accessory as her daughter’s. The items were found on the remains that were discovered in a burnt-out canefield late Monday were charred beyond recognition.
Coudray, the mayor of Trinidad’s second major city, provided forensic experts with dental records and a DNA sample. Coudray-Greaves wore braces.
Police in Montego Bay said the burnt body could not be positively identified solely from braces and a bracelet.
As detectives continued the investigations into the disappearance of the 39-year-old mother in western Jamaica, they continued to question a ‘person of interest’, a term often used to describe a suspect who, under the law in Jamaica and most Caribbean countries, cannot be identified unless formally charged.
Deputy Superintendent of Police Steve Brown confirmed that the suspect was being detained but it was not immediately clear whether the police were close to laying formal charges.
Investigators have also questioned Coudray-Greaves’s estranged husband, a Jamaican national, a canecutter who found the body and a taxi driver whose car she was last seen entering.
Coudray said she plans to stay in Jamaica until the result of the DNA tests are known.
She had initially expressed frustration over what she considered the slow pace of the investigation when her daughter went missing, prompting her decision to fly to Montego Bay. But as she was preparing to leave Trinidad, news came of the discovery of the body and the likelihood that it was her daughter’s.
But following a meeting with police officials there, she told reporters that she was “satisfied with the professionalism displayed in terms of this meeting”.
Coudray-Greaves, left Trinidad on May 31 in the hopes of taking up a full-time position as languages teacher at Cornwall College, a prominent all-boys high school in western Jamaica.
She was reportedly last spotted early on Friday at Cornwall College, where she was to start working on Monday with a group of students who were in final preparation for an upcoming Spanish examination. Her temporary contract at the school had recently ended.
Coudray-Greaves had lived in Jamaica for several years following her marriage to a Jamaican man. (CMC)
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