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La Brea mom awaiting DNA on skeletal remains

Cecily Asson Wednesday, January 11 2017

LA BREA mother, Natalie Richins, 40, who recently shot into the headlines after skeletal remains of an infant were discovered in her house, is still awaiting results of a DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) test to determine its paternity. But right now the results of the test are the least of her worries as she told Newsday, contrary to what police reported last November, Baby Mercy, said to be the last of her seven children, is alive and well. Richins, who said she also has a grandson, even gave a description of Baby Mercy who she said looks just like her and bears a similar birthmark on her leg.

At this time, Richins said her main concern, as the days wear on, are for three of her children who have since been removed from her care. They had lived with her until November 10 when the discovery was made at her Sobo Village home and all occupants were taken into custody. They were subsequently released with no charges being laid.

Two of her daughters, 16 and 14 and one son, 13, have since been placed in the custody of other relatives.

Her oldest daughter, Nicolette Harry, 18, who no longer attends school but graduated with seven O’Levels and wants to pursue medicine, still lives with her. Richins worries that the three teenagers who were enrolled at the Point Fortin Secondary School, La Romaine High School and Holy Name Convent and have not attended classes since 2015, are not safe in their new environment.

At this time she is not sure if they have started school for the new term as she has been shut out of their lives. Richins, a divorcee said upon her divorce she was given full custody of three children due to certain circumstances. Showing Newsday a copy of her divorce decree which was granted in February 2010, she pointed to the address of the other party which stated “Carrera State Penal Facility, c/o Royal Jail, Frederick Street, Port of Spain.” “You see why the children were given to me?” A well-spoken Richins said, “What people don’t know is that I am a survivor.

I have been through plenty.

I’ve been labelled as mad, called delinquent, an obeah woman but I love my children and don’t want them to walk the wrong road. I am really worried about them.” She told Newsday she saw them briefly last week Monday when a relative brought them over to her home. “They were sad,” she said. Richins wants the authorities to step in and save her children.

“I need to know what are my rights.” Over the holidays, Richins said no one, not police, nor anyone from the Children’s Authority, contacted her to enquire of her welfare.

“But thank God, my daughter and I doing the best we could,” she said.

“It is not easy living in a village where you are labelled.” When contacted yesterday, police confirmed that a DNA test was done and investigations were ongoing in the matter. Newsday was also informed that officials of the Children’s Authority continue to be actively involved in the case.



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