Bartica arson/murder suspect dies after taking poison

Cynthia Andrews whose life went up in flames set by her reputed husband had been planning to leave him and travel to Venezuela with her two daughters.

Yesterday, Desmond Laulys, the man suspected of killing her was pronounced dead at the Bartica hospital after being rushed there from the police station where he was found lying on the floor and frothing at the mouth.

Andrews of Mora Camp located off the Bartica/Potaro Road was  burnt to death on Monday afternoon but her charred remains were only found by the police the next day.

Stabroek News has been unable to make contact with the woman’s immediate family but  it was reported that she had only returned from Venezuela about a week ago and had intended to leave the man she has been living with for three years at that location.

This newspaper has been told that the couple had been experiencing problems for a few months and Laulys had beaten her before. They had planned to leave the area but a big problem arose when they began discussions about the division of property as the woman had worked to build up their home. The woman left for Venezuela where she remained for ten days but in that time the man placed her two daughters, ages 18 and 13, to live in a small room beneath the house.

Upon her return she indicated that she was going to leave and this angered the man. On the day of her death they had a problem which resulted in them going to the Bartica Police Station but even though a report was made the woman was reportedly told to return home and “make up” with the man.

“The taxi driver who brought them home said that they were very cozy and kissing and so on,” one resident said. But around 4 pm in the afternoon residents heard the woman’s youngest daughter shouting that the man was beating her mother and begging them to call the police.

It is understood that while the man was beating the woman he locked out her daughter and a niece she had brought from Venezuela  and although they attempted to break the door down with a hammer they were unable to enter.

It is believed that the woman may have been knocked unconscious  by the man before he lit the fire since she was not heard screaming while the house was burning.

“When I arrived on the scene the fire was raging, even the stairs was on fire so it is suspected that he threw some gasoline or something. The children kept saying that their mother was in the house but no one could have gone in to save her,” one resident said.  The man was later found by the police in the family farm behind the house.

Andrews was described as a very good mother who worked industriously selling greens and other items to residents. She was well known as there are just about 15 houses in the area and the land is owned by a family but a piece was leased to the couple and their children.

“Very good mother, very hard working, looked after her kids well,” one resident said. The resident was very upset that the police allowed the couple to return home after they had visited the station. He said that the police should have kept the man there and more than likely the woman would have been alive today. The resident spoke about what he described as the cavalier  attitude of police officers at the Bartica Police Station when it comes to reports of domestic violence. There have been similar reports about officers at many other police stations around the country.

Yesterday afternoon, the police issued a statement saying that after Laulys had said on June 30 that he had drunk a poisonous liquid he was treated and discharged from the Bartica hospital at 9.20 am on Tuesday and then placed in the Bartica station lock-ups where he was visited every 30 minutes.

The police said that around 6.15 pm on Tuesday he complained of feeling unwell and was taken back to the Bartica Hospital where he was treated and returned to the lock-ups at 9 pm that night. Around 1.05 pm yesterday, the police said that ranks at the station found Laulys on the floor frothing from the mouth. They rushed him to the hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival.  (Oluatoyin Alleyne)

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