Police personnel carried out investigations at the house fire In Sargeant’s Village, Christ Church. (Picture by Lennox Devonish.)
There is no evidence to suggest there was an intruder when British visitor Natalie Crichlow was burnt in a house fire.
Crichlow, 44, who arrived in Barbados on July 15 to look after her brother Ashton Clarke, suffered burns over 75 per cent of her body on July 28 and succumbed to injuries on August 6.
Headlines in the British media claim she was murdered in Barbados after being doused with a flammable substance and set alight while she was in bed at his home in Sargeant’s Village, Christ Church.
The mother of three was allegedly attacked by an unknown intruder.
However, Commissioner of Police Tyrone Griffith said this did not correspond with evidence they collected and interviews they conducted.
Griffith, who was attending Government’s post-cabinet press briefing at Government Headquarters earlier today, outlined some of the steps they took.
He said they spoke to British health adviser Linda Beaumont, who was also in Barbados, and had custody of Crichlow’s nine-year-old son. They had a video call around 12:15 on the day in question so Crichlow could give directions to the house and the latter was said to be cooking at the time.
Beaumont also made a second call to Crichlow.
The galvanised fence, which is more than eight feet high, was fully intact prior to the blaze and the lone gate could only be opened from the inside.
Griffith said this was also supported by high quality Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) footage from a nearby home which did not show anyone entering the house hours before the incident took place.
Evidence showed the fire was concentrated in the kitchen and not in the bedroom, and this was reflected in the CCTV footage.
Police also interviewed the workmen who rescued Crichlow.
Investigators said there was no smell of an accelerant, either in the house or on her clothes, but there was a gas bottle with a melted gas head in the kitchen. Griffith did not draw any conclusions.
In inviting the Commissioner to address the issue, Attorney General Dale Marshall said Barbados had a duty to defend its reputation, not blindly, but when “it was appropriate to do so”.
Marshall said tangible overtures had been made to the family and those details would be made public by the Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc.
He also expressed sympathy to Crichlow’s family on behalf of the Government and people of Barbados. (SAT)