“He was a monster.”
That was how Maysonia Thomas described Michael Maynard on Monday. Thomas ended her relationship with him after years of abuse and violence.
Maynard murdered his own daughter, eight-year-old Mukeisha Maynard, before ending his own life on Sunday night at his Kelly Village, Caroni home. Police said Mukeisha was beaten to death with a cutlass because she had urinated on a mattress. Thomas, 33, said, “He was an abusive man. He stabbed me five times already because I didn’t want to be with him. I left him and took my children.” She was speaking outside the Forensic Science Centre in St James, where she went on Monday to collect her daughter’s death certificate.
“Ever since then, I was hiding from him.” The mother of seven, who had two children with Maynard, displayed scars which she said were from stabs inflicted by him. She said he had stabbed her twice in the chest, twice in the shoulder and once in the head. Although the attack was reported to both the Morvant and Caroni police stations, she said, police never arrested Maynard.
After he stabbed her five years ago, she said, she left Maynard’s home taking their two children (Mukeisha and her brother) with her. Contrary to media reports and social media posts, Mukeisha was not autistic, her mother said, but had had a disability since Maynard hit her just after she was born.
“When she was just six days old, he was beating me and because she started to cry, he slapped her in the face. She suffered brain damage because of that. Later, when I carried her to the hospital, they said her brain was not connecting to her hands, so she was having trouble writing.
“He couldn’t take that she was ‘slow,’ but it was he who had her like that,” Thomas said. Mukeisha was described as a playful and loving child who displayed a maternal love for her siblings. Thomas said this was why relatives began calling her “Mama.” “I used to admire the way my granddaughter would move with her other siblings,” said Thomas’s father, who had accompanied her to the centre on Monday. “You would swear she was their mother.”
A year ago, she and her brother went to their grandmother’s home in Caroni to visit their half-siblings when Maynard showed up and took both of them to live with him.
Thomas said that at the time, she was still building her home in Morvant and believed Mukeisha and her brother were staying with their grandmother, Maynard’s mother. She called one day to ask for them and was told their father had taken them in.
“I knew if I went for them he would hit me or try to stab me again,” Thomas said. “He used to say if he couldn’t have me, no one would.
“The rest of the family was afraid him. When they tried to visit or ask to take Mukeisha and her brother away for a while, that man would get enraged and want to fight anyone. Everyone was afraid of him.”
Thomas said Mukeisha had been having trouble with her bowel movements and would sometimes defecate on herself. Police sources said investigators who spoke with Mukeisha’s brother were given a harrowing account of what happened. Officers said they were told that on Saturday night, Maynard warned Mukeisha not to wet the bed, but woke up on Sunday morning to find it soaked with urine.
Police said Maynard sent Mukeisha to bathe and when she was done, he beat her with the flat side of a cutlass. At about midday on Sunday, Mukeisha was found dead. Maynard then took the child and cleaned her. He put some baby powder on her chest and creamed her skin. He then dressed her and put her to lie face-up on a bed.
As all of this was taking place, the girl’s brother was in the house looking on. Police sources said Mukeisha’s brother later told investigators that on Sunday evening, Maynard told him he could not live with what he had done and even if he went to jail, he could not live with himself.
Maynard, the police said, then told his son he was leaving, to return in a short while. Maynard then locked his son in the house with Mukeisha’s body. As the hours passed, the boy realised his sister was unresponsive and jumped through a window and went to the nearby home of relatives to ask for help.
Relatives who came to the house found Maynard’s body in the yard and called the police. Officers later went inside the house and found Mukeisha’s body.
The murder/suicide was the last in a serious of violent acts which took place between Saturday and Sunday and which saw 14 people being killed. Of the 14, nine were murders, four were police-involved shooting deaths and one was a suicide.