MARLENE'S DAUGHTER REPORTED DEAD
By CECILY ASSON Tuesday, June 12 2012
JAMAICAN newspaper, The Gleaner, last night reported a body that was burnt beyond recognition and found in a Montego Bay canefield was that of Michelle Coudray-Greaves, daughter of San Fernando Mayor Marlene Coudray.
However, the Jamaican police, in an immediate response said the sex and identity of the body has not yet been confirmed, as forensic investigators were still at the scene up to 8 pm. Scores of police, friends, family were at Coudray’s home in Ste Madeleine last night as they gathered to support her and Michelle’s three children who live with Coudray.
Among those arriving last night were ACP Fitzroy Frederick, Supt Irwin Hackshaw, Supt David Lewis as well as Local Government minister Chandresh Sharma. Point Fortin Mayor Clyde Paul, who was at the house, told reporters: “I feel for Marlene. I’ve known Michelle from a little girl and for this to happen you have to take it in stride and offer prayers for her that she would be strong and bear through this whole ordeal.”
Police officers stationed outside Coudray’s home barred reporters from entering, but Coudray in a message relayed through a family friend at about 9 pm, said she was trying to be strong and will find out the truth when she flies to Jamaica this morning. The Gleaner, in its article posted on its website at about 7 pm, reported that friends identified the body as that of Coudray-Greaves, 38, by dental braces and a bracelet. However, Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Steve Brown of the Communications Department of the Jamaica Constabulary told Newsday last night Coudray-Greaves’ friends could not positively identify the body.
“There was no way the body could have been identified. We don’t even know whether it is male or female. Friends were there but could not positively identify the body. We have to take the body to Forensics,” Brown said, adding forensic investigators were still at Barnett Estate at 8 pm, the sugar cane estate in Montego Bay where the burnt body was found at midday. News broke on Sunday evening about the disappearance of Coudray-Greaves, nearly a week after she returned to Jamaica, following a visit home last month.
Police report Coudray-Greaves went missing on June 2, and her family in Trinidad last heard from her on June 1, when she called to check on her three children, two girls aged 11 and seven, and a five-year-old boy who live with Coudray in Ste Madeleine. Coudray-Greaves is separated from her Jamaican husband.
According to the Jamaican police, Coudray-Greaves was last seen boarding a white Toyota Corolla car, believed to be a taxi, at about 12.30 am on June 2, just a few meters from her apartment at Cornwall Courts, Montego Bay.
However, The Gleaner article reported that her landlady said she last saw Coudray-Greaves last Thursday, June 7, when she visited her to pay outstanding bills. The landlady reportedly said Coudray-Greaves got a telephone call and then left. Coudray-Greaves was said to have been seen last Friday at Cornwall College, where she had gone to volunteer to help a group of students to prepare for a final exam.
The newspaper said the police said Coudray-Greaves was last seen on James Street about 1.30 pm last Friday dressed in a pair of blue jeans and a long sleeved blouse She had recently completed a period of temporary employment as a teacher at Cornwall College and was in negotiation with the school to fill another vacancy in September, The Gleaner reports.
In an earlier interview, before The Gleaner story broke, Brown of the Jamaica Police Force told Newsday the police were confident they would bring Coudray-Greaves, “home soon.”
A missing person’s report was made to the Montego Bay Freeport Police Station last Friday, Brown said. He disclosed an unidentified body was found burnt beyond recognition in a canefield.
“A body was found at a location in the St James, Montego Bay area burnt beyond recognition. No sex can be determined because of the condition of the corpse. Although she was last seen in the area we cannot say as yet if it is the Trinidadian woman,” he said.
He said the discovery was reported all over Jamaica. Brown went on to say, “As it is, the police are still working on the matter. A team of officers is working around the clock and we are paying special attention to this case.
We have a missing person’s policy where within 15 to 20 minutes of the report, an All Points Bulletin (APB) is sent out.” In the bulletin, Coudray-Greaves was described as wearing braces.
Brown said a number of police units have joined in the search. He continued, “Based on the work we are putting in, we are confident we will bring her home soon.”
He said the incident has attracted international attention and he has been getting calls from throughout the Caribbean and other countries. “We have been in contact with her mother and will continue to do so.”
Coudray is expected to fly out to Jamaica this morning in search of her daughter with companion Larry Achong, a former government minister. “I am going in search of my daughter,” a distraught Coudray told Newsday earlier in an interview at her Ste Madeleine home. Coudray said her daughter spent eight years in Jamaica during which time she studied at the Mona campus of the University of West Indies. During her stay, Coudray-Greaves worked as a teacher, in management and with Air Jamaica. She returned home in 2000 and in 2001 she got married to her Jamaican boyfriend.
Coudray said her daughter taught Spanish at a Montego Bay high school earlier this year, during January to April. She returned to Trinidad in early May and flew back to Jamaica on May 30.
Her passport, luggage and other personal documents were intact at her apartment home, reports stated.
Coudray, a deputy political leader of the United National Congress (UNC), tightly hugged her weeping 11-year-old granddaughter in her lap as she tried to comfort her. “She is fully aware and we are having problems with her in terms of her emotional state,” Coudray said.
“We had to tell them but I don’t think the last two understand. We took the decision to tell the children because the bigger one is always on Facebook. You can’t keep her off the computer and we knew she would have picked it up somehow.” Coudray said it was her granddaughter who was able to gain access to her mother’s e-mail account for the family. “She (granddaughter) is actually the one we got to go into the mother’s e- mail account so that we can try from this end to see what I can pick up, just to see if I can pick up any clues. She is very bright, so we couldn’t hide it,” Coudray continued. Her two younger grandchildren played as she spoke.
Coudray said since her daughter’s mysterious disappearance she has been in regular contact with her son-in-law, whom she did not identify and his relatives. Moments before Newsday arrived, Coudray said her son-in-law had called her.
She said, “I just spoke to my estranged son-in law. He called me about half an hour ago and he has been updating me. They are not divorced, just an estranged couple and they are still friends. They still communicate with each other.”
She said her daughter’s in-laws have been calling her expressing their concerns. “His family has been calling me. I have been getting information and we are talking. He (son-in-law) called me half an hour ago to give an update. I called the police myself and they said so far they are just following leads. They have nothing to report as yet.”
A distraught Coudray only learnt of her daughter’s disappearance on Saturday. She recalled it was her grandchildren who last spoke to their mother. “Michelle left here (Trinidad) on May 30 (Indian Arrival Day). She called home to say she had arrived safely. On Thursday morning (May 31), before they went to school, she spoke with all three of them. On Thursday evening she e- mailed her daughter’s project for her. She was vetting the project my granddaughter was doing.”
Coudray-Greaves told her mother that although she (Michelle) was abroad, she would always communicate and assist with her children in their various projects.
“She would always communicate with them. The last thing on her e-mail was that project she e-mailed back to her (eldest child).” Coudray said the children’s babysitter spoke to her daughter on Friday June 1, “because she will always call in the day to find out how the children are doing.”
She said she has spoken to several of her daughter’s friends and no one has seen or heard from her since June 1. “Nobody has heard from her,” Coudray said.
“The contacts I know she has in Jamaica, I have been speaking with them and nobody saw her after Friday in the night. Nobody saw her after that. All the conversations I have had with the friends, they are all as baffled as I am. She is referred to in her circles in Jamaica as “Trini” and what I’ve been told, she is loved very much. They don’t know that she has any enemies at all. She is not that type of person.
“She is very outgoing, she is accustomed going out, she will go out in the night, she is a free-spirited person. She lived there about eight years. When she graduated from UWI, she stayed on and did a diploma in International Relations,” Coudray said.
She said her daughter returned home after graduation and worked for a “short while” before returning to Jamaica and after job hunting on the internet, applied to the Sandals Hotel and Resorts and was successful.
“She went as a management trainee to do the six months course, and they kept her on. After they trained her, she said that’s not the job for her within the same Sandals group, they offered her a job with Air Jamaica and she worked with Air Jamaica.”
During her time back home, Coudray said her daughter had a brief stint at Holy Faith Convent, Penal where she taught Spanish. Since the news broke, Coudray said she has received overwhelming support from several persons both home and abroad including officials of the Jamaican High Commission and the police.
She said Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar called her on Sunday night. “I received a call from Dr Roodal Moonilal (fellow UNC deputy leader and Housing Minister) and from several other colleagues expressing their concern. I am going up tomorrow (today), I hope we get on a flight. I have spoken to the Jamaican police, High commissioner Iva Gloudon called me on Saturday evening. I have also spoken with first secretary in the High Commission, Stacy Hinds. We have been in touch exchanging e-mails and pictures.”