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Saturday 23 June 2018
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Couple tied up, house set ablaze

The house in which Michelle Harrylal called home, which was burnt to ruins in Carlsen Field, Chase Village. Harrylal and two others were burnt beyond recognizing during the fire.


Three people, including a couple, were burnt to death early yesterday morning after intruders invaded their home while they slept, tied them up and set the house ablaze. The incident occurred at about 1am at Tanteak Road, Carlsen Field, Chaguanas.

Dead are Michelle Harrylal, 26, her common-law husband Michael Applewaithe, 35, and another male who remained unidentified up to press time.

At about 8 am, a villager in a car was alerted to the tragedy when he saw Harrilal’s four year old son wandering barefoot along the roadway. The villager said the boy appeared to be traumatised. The crying child told the woman his mommy was burnt in a fire and is in heaven.

The villager, who knew the boy, drove to the family’s home and saw the house burnt to the ground. The house is located miles off the Carlsen Field Road in a forested area and there are no houses in close proximity to the structure. Members of the Police and Fire Services were contacted and when they arrived, police said a trail of blood was found near the ruins.

Investigators are working on the theory that the occupants were killed and their bodies set on fire in the house.

Residents said they had seen smoke earlier that day but many assumed it may have been a bush fire in the area. Newsday was told the boy lived with his mother and step father at the location for the past year.

It was shortly after 2pm fire fighters removed the skeletal remains of three people. They were viewed by district medical officer Naresh Singh who instructed the police to take the remains to the Forensic Science Centre. Investigators said tests would have to be done to confirm the identity of the victims. Yesterday, villagers expressed shock as they watched crime scene investigators remove charred bodies. Harrylal’s sister, Dana Babwah, 20, had to be consoled by relatives. She told Newsday she could not understand why someone would want to harm her sister. “I can’t believe this is happening,” she said as her hands trembled. Babwah said she was happy her nephew was not harmed. “It is a really a miracle he is alive.

He ran from the fire and did not know where he was going but he just kept running until he reached the roadway where he was found wandering.” Babwah said she last spoke to her sister on Monday.

“My sister and her son were very close. You never saw Michelle without her son, it breaks my heart what happened. The man she was living with, Michael, treated her son like his own and (the child) would call him daddy.” Babwah said she was unaware of any threats made on her sister’s life.

The child was was taken to the Chaguanas Health Facility were he was examined and discharged. Homicide Region Three police officers are investigating.


Earlier this morning, a 4-year-old boy was found wandering the streets of Carlsen Field, Chaguanas by a villager. The boy told the villager his mother died in a fire and is “now in heaven”. When police and fire officers arrived at the scene, they found the charred skeletal remains of three adults - two believed to be his mother, Michelle Harrylal and her husband, his step-father.


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