When she was receiving text messages from her boyfriend Barry Karamath on Saturday night, in which he threatened to harm her two youngest children — ten-month-old Omari “Buba” Mayers and three-year-old Keanna “Keke” Mayers — Okilia Mayers could not believe the 33-year-old father was serious.
“He wasn’t a violent person per se. He was normal to me. He loved his children as far as I knew, because he was always so kind to them. So when he started sending the texts on Saturday, I didn’t believe he would actually harm the children,” Okilia said.
She recalled that, while the family had taken precautions after receiving the messages and had contacted the police to find Karamath and her children, in her heart, she could not believe that the 33-year-old man would ever cause harm to his son and daughter. That all changed on Sunday morning, when she received a phone call from Eastern Division Police, informing her that the bodies of Omari and Keanna had been found in Matura, alongside Karamath’s body. The father reportedly fed the two children a poisonous substance, before ingesting the same substance himself.
Speaking to the Express at her Ninth Avenue, Barataria, home yesterday afternoon, Okilia said she was still trying to come to terms with the incident.
She said Karamath had never shown signs of violence to her children, and that, if anything, his anger was always directed towards her.
“He was the jealous type. But his threats were always directed to me, never the children. I can say honest to God, I never expected him to do anything like this. Usually he would talk and say mean-spirited things to me, but usually that was all it was, talk. Because he would call me back and apologise later that same day. So when he sent messages on Saturday night, I didn’t know he was serious at the time. I mean, my family went to the police to find him, just to be safe, but I honestly didn’t think he was serious. I thought he was just being mean-spirited and then he would call and apologise later,” Okilia said.
According to police reports, at about 6 a.m. on Sunday, they received a report from a pumpkin farmer from Mora Trace, Matura, that he had stumbled across three human bodies near a bamboo patch next to his farm. When police arrived, they found Karamath’s body and those of his two children with dried spit and vomit near their mouths.
The first responders notified their seniors as well as officials from the Homicide Bureau of Investigations, and a party of officers including ACP Glenda Jennings-Smith, Senior Superintendent Othneil Williams, Superintendent Aroon Ramkelawan, ASP Neville Sankar, Inspector Ken Latchman, Sgt Keith Leon, Cpl Hernandez, PC Mootoo, and PC Hosein, as well as other officials from the Sangre Grande CID, the Valencia CID, and the Eastern Division Task Force, visited the scene.
Omari and Keanna were found lying on a pink blanket; Omari was clad in pampers and a multicoloured vest, while his three-year-old sister was found lying on her back and clad in blue skirt and multicoloured top. Their father was found lying on his belly.
Karamath had reportedly taken the two children from their home along Ninth Avenue, Barataria, at about midday on Saturday, on the premise that he would be getting the young children snacks and other items.
Investigations are continuing.