Port Kaituma man accused of killing wife, children in fire succumbs

Linus La Cruz and his family in happier times

Fifty-year-old Linus La Cruz who had been accused of setting his Port Kaituma home on fire, causing the death of his wife and four children, died yesterday morning at the Georgetown Public Hospital (GPH) .

La Cruz was admitted to the GPH on March 18 after he suffered burns to his body during the fire. Sources say La Cruz contracted pneumonia after the fire and this is believed to have resulted in his death.

The charred remains of his wife Lurlene La Cruz, 39; and children, Lea La Cruz, 14; Labron La Cruz, 8; Lavette La Cruz, 3, and Levon La Cruz, 1 were buried on March 18 as well.

The man’s 12-year-old daughter, who managed to escape from the fire is presently staying with one of his relatives, this newspaper was told.

Linus La Cruz and his family in happier times
Linus La Cruz and his family in happier times

Director of the Child Protection Agency, Ann Greene said the agency has taken on the matter and is in the process of conducting investigations. She declined to give any further information on the matter.

While at the GPH, La Cruz was kept under police guard and was heavily shackled when he arrived at the Ogle International airport from Port Kaituma. He was expected to be arraigned at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Court on five counts of murder when he recovered.

Carl Innis, La Cruz’s brother said the man was expected to attend court on Thursday but that was postponed to a later date because he was not fit to appear. He added that a friend of his visited La Cruz at the hospital on Thursday and he was informed by his friend that La Cruz’s condition appeared to be deteriorating.

He added that when La Cruz was admitted to the GPH, doctors had planned on performing a surgery but because of his failing lungs that was postponed until his condition had improved. Innis said La Cruz was on a life support machine shortly before his death.

On the evening of March 14, La Cruz is believed to have locked the grill barricades to his home before setting the fire. Reports were that he had been drinking at a shop in the village prior to setting the fire and it was believed that his wife was stabbed before the house was lit on fire.

He reportedly told police after the fire that financial stress led to his actions.

There were also reports of a poor response by the police to the plea by the lone survivor of the fire for help on the March 14. It was reported that after the survivor went to the police station located not far from her home and got no response from police officers, she ventured to a church that is located across the street from their home.

She told church member, Grace Fraser that her father was threatening to set the house afire and Fraser accompanied her to the police station. By the time officers responded, the house was already on fire.

Comments  

Billions diverted by prison unrest partly to blame for GuySuCo severance shortfall in budget – Trotman

Alliance for Change (AFC) leader Raphael Trotman yesterday said the diversion of billions to the security sector after the destruction of the Camp Street prison was partly responsible for the government not budgeting the full sum for severance payments to laid off sugar workers.

Cops seek motive for Pomeroon murders

  The police were up to yesterday afternoon still working to ascertain the motive behind the murders of Ambrose Baharally and Martin Godette, the Pomeroon farmers who were shot dead on Sunday and a potential witness was taken into custody to assist with the investigation.

Ramotar claims gov’t ignored promised India loans for sugar industry

Former President Donald Ramotar has accused the current government of accepting loans from India that he initiated except those pertaining to the rehabilitation of the sugar industry but State Minister Joseph Harmon says he is unaware of the claim and has urged that the former head of state prove it.

Child rapist sentenced to 45 years

Omadat Persaud, who was on trial for raping a five-year-old girl in 2015, was yesterday afternoon sentenced to 45 years in jail after a jury unanimously convicted him of the crime.

Mother urges justice for vendor killed by city cop

The mother of Marlon Fredericks, the mentally-challenged vendor who was fatally shot by a member of the city constabulary on Sunday, yesterday called for justice for her son, while saying that an autopsy found that he died of a gunshot wound to his chest.

Your browser is out-of-date!

Update your browser to view this website correctly.

We built stabroeknews.com using new technology. This makes our website faster, more feature rich and easier to use for 95% of our readers.
Unfortunately, your browser does not support some of these technologies. Click the button below and choose a modern browser to receive our intended user experience.

Update my browser now

×