Luton mother 'set alight' in Barbados was not killed by intruder, police say

Natalie Crichlow
Natalie Crichlow

A police investigation into the death of a Luton woman who died from severe burns in Barbados has found no evidence of an intruder.

In a press conference yesterday, Prime Minister of Barbados Hon. Mia Amor Mottley, Attorney-General of Barbados Hon. Dale Marshall and Barbados’ Commissioner of Police Tyrone Griffith gave evidence indicating that no intruder was involved in the death of Ms. Crichlow.

Natalie Crichlow, 44, had been staying on the island to visit her disabled brother who was in a nursing home.

She was found badly burnt at her brother's house on July 28 and later died in hospital, and her family said an intruder had entered the house and set her alight in her bed.

During yesterday's press conference, Police Commissioner Tyrone Griffith stated that at 1pm on July 28, Ms Crichlow had been on the phone with a friend while preparing meals in the kitchen. The house was largely made of wood.

He went on: "At about 1.43pm, suddenly the house went up in flames, with the seat of the fire being concentrated in the kitchen area. The fire rapidly engulfed the house and residents and workmen on a nearby house quickly sprang into action to assist.

"They broke a sheet of galvanised [fence] to get into the yard, and assisted in getting the deceased who was found in the yard badly burned. The ambulance was summoned and she was taken to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital.

Commissioner Griffith said that "very high quality" CCTV had been obtained from a neighbouring house.

He added: "Examination of this footage has clearly demonstrated that no-one entered those premises for hours prior to the fire taking place. The corrogated fence was fully intact apart from the sheet that was removed to provide access to the victim.

"It fully shows that the fire originated in the area of the kitchen and was concentrated there."

Further tests on Ms Crichlow's clothing showed no sign of accelerant.

Attorney-General Dale Marshalll told the press conference: "Whatever the circumstances, the loss of any life in Barbados - especially for someone who would have come to Barbados for something we are best known for, a place to relax and to get away... that loss of life is tragic.

"The entire cabinet, the entire Government and the people of Barbados especially want to extend our sympathy to the grieving family and friends both here and abroad.

"The Prime Minister with the full support of cabinet has today given certain directions which demonstrate tangibly the support for the grieving relatives at this time."