MURDERED: Three-year-old Keanna “Keke” Mayers.
BLOODY PALM SUNDAY
Murder and suicide in Matura and Valencia
by Alexander Bruzual
“What kind of a person could do this? Only a demon! Only a demon!”
These were the words uttered yesterday afternoon by mourning relatives of ten-month-old Omari “Buba” Mayers, and his sister, three-year-old Keanna “Keke” Mayers.
The two young siblings were killed sometime during Saturday night by their father, 33-year-old Barry Karamath, when he fed them a poisonous substance, before ingesting the substance himself.
Karamath also died during the course of the night.
The 33-year-old man had taken the two children from their Ninth Avenue, Barataria, home earlier that day, after their mother, Okilia Mayers, had left to go to work.
He was last seen at about midday, when he told relatives at the home that he was taking the two young children to go get some “snacks and other stuff” and that he would return later that day.
When Karamath refused to answer phone calls and it was realised that none of his relatives or friends knew where he was, Okilia’s family grew concerned, and went to the Morvant Police Station to ask for assistance in locating the two children. A party of officers went to the apartment where Karamath was staying along Ninth Avenue, however, they did not find the father or his two children.
At about 7 p.m. Okilia and her relatives began receiving texts from Karamath, which indicated that he was about to harm the siblings. The relatives once again contacted the police, and a party of officers went to the home once again, but despite their enquiries, no one had information on the whereabouts of the 33-year-old man.
The following are the transcripts of some of the text messages that Karamath sent to Okilia Mayers and her relatives between 7 p.m. and 10 p.m.
“Don’t answer, I going and deal with Buba first.”
“Buba like a little stupidee but Keke has a little idea something’s wrong, but say what, is a fed up scene.”
“Anyhow I deal with Buba after how you sent the police by me tonight. I going and deal with Keke and myself now and just remember is you cause that. I did it knowing that, fare well.”
“That was her last breath anyhow.”
During the night, concern became outright fear, as Karamath eventually stopped responding to or sending messages. That fear became a reality yesterday morning when Eastern Division Police received a report that the lifeless bodies of a man and two children had been discovered on a roadway along Matura.
According to police reports, at about 6 a.m. yesterday, 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 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 and he was dressed in blue T-shirt, an off coloured pink three-quarter pants and a black and yellow Nike sneakers.
A bottle of herbicide, believed to be Gramoxone, was found near to the three bodies.
The farmer who discovered the bodies reportedly told police that he had seen Karamath and the children near the bamboo patch at about 9.15 p.m. and he spoken to them briefly. He said Karamath claimed he was at the location waiting on a woman who he had paid $6,000 for a bush bath. He also told the pumpkin farmer that he was doing this because he was experiencing some domestic problems. After being told that the woman would be “arriving shortly,” the farmer wished the trio a good night, and went to his garden where he retired until the morning.
A District Medical Officer visited the scene and ordered the removal of the three bodies to the Forensic Science Centre in St James, where an autopsy will be performed today.
Shortly after midday, Okilia Mayers arrived on the scene, to view the bodies of her children.
The woman however, broke down almost immediately after seeing the three bodies, and had to be assisted to her feet by a male relative. At one point she even had to be restrained from breaching the cordoned off area, where police were conducting their investigations, because she wanted to hold her children. She repeatedly screamed the names of Buba and Keke, and shouted to the heavens asking for the two young toddlers to be returned to her.
Speaking briefly to the media, Okilia said that Karamath was a very possessive man who got jealous easily. She said she could not talk to any male, as if he found out, he would always get upset and they would quarrel.
At Okilia’s home along Ninth Avenue, Barataria, relatives of the two deceased children said they were in a state of shock and they could not understand why Karamath would kill the two children in such a manner.
“That is not the action of a human being. That is a demon! Only a demon could do them things! To take away the lives of two children in such a manner? They eh even get a chance to live yet. He had no excuse, I don’t care how he felt, it had no reason, none, for him to do that,” one relative explained.
Cpl Mohammed of Arouca Homicide is continuing enquiries.