MOM GETS TWINS
By Cecily Asson Friday, February 1 2013
Five hours after Jamaican Natalie Treasure, 34, was released from the Gasparillo Police Station pending an inquest into the stabbing death of her twin girls’ father Michael Apphonso Williams, 23, she was reunited with daughters, Mikayla and Mikaylee.
The former security guard had not seen her one-month-old babies for more than a week.
Shocked relatives wept as female police officers carried the babies to meet their mother who was waiting in an unmarked police jeep outside the apartment at Union Road, Marabella where they were being cared for by their father’s aunts.
The police also handed over all of the babies’ clothes, bottles and a small yellow bag of Treasure’s clothes.
Treasure was in custody for nine days before the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions yesterday morning ordered that she be released pending further investigations. An inquest is expected to be held. On January 22, Williams was stabbed during an argument and was found bleeding from a wound to his upper abdomen outside the apartment. He was taken to the San Fernando General Hospital where he succumbed to his injury while undergoing emergency surgery. Police sources told Newsday there was reason to believe Treasure had acted in self-defence, noting she had previously made a report against Williams.
The deceased’s mother Janet Harriot, 42, and sisters Denise, 18, and Dacy-Ann Harriot, 20, all Jamaicans, pleaded with officers to leave the babies in their care when they arrived for them. Their loud sobbing attracted the attention of neighbours who assembled on the pavement.
“How can you take them from us? Why are you doing this to us? Leave them, don’t do this to us,” Janet cried.
At about 3.20 pm, the babies were given to Treasure under the watchful eyes of her attorney Dereck Dindial and officers of the Southern Homicide Bureau and Victim Support Unit.
Newsday was told that Dindial was appointed duty counsel by the Legal Aid and Advisory Authority to deal with the case shortly after Treasure was held. Treasure and her babies were taken away by the police to an undisclosed location. Earlier, at about 10.20 am, Treasure walked out of the Gasparillo Police Station accompanied by two officers of the Southern Homicide Bureau and was taken away in a black SUV to an unknown location. At the same time, Insp Sharon Cooper and Sgt Terry Tambie, also of the Southern Homicide Bureau, went to the Marabella apartment to tell the Harriots of Treasure’s release and that the babies will have to be given back to her. Dacy-Ann told Newsday the family was baffled by the decision to release Treasure.
“The police told us of her release and also we would have to give up the children because it is the mother’s legal right to have them. To think that my brother is dead and we have to go through this now,” she said.
At about 2.40 pm, the officers returned with Treasure and met the Harriots and other well-wishers. Among them was relative Christopher Melvin who arrived from Jamaica on Wednesday with Janet.
The family begged the officers to leave the babies with them.
“I don’t know why they doing that to us. Not only have I lost my son, they have taken away the children. I begged them for one more night and they said no,” Janet said. To make it easier for the Harriots, Melvin was allowed to carry Mikaylee, while a policewoman held Mikayla as they took the babies to their mother in the police van.
Janet said she first asked to speak to Treasure. “I begged her to come out the van and when she did I asked her about my son. “All she did was just stare me in the face, she never answered and then she fainted. The policewoman led her back into the vehicle. I had to see her. I told her that I took her in and treated her like my own daughter,” she said.
Williams worked as a security guard and arrived in Trinidad from Clarendon, Jamaica, six months ago in search of a better life. His daughters were born here at San Fernando General Hospital on December 20.
A month ago, he invited his sisters to join him in Trinidad. “I feel so happy that day when he called me and ask for his sisters to come to Trinidad to stay with him,” Janet said. “Now look what happen, my son got killed. He was a good father and a family man.”
Janet was hoping to have the babies live with her. Treasure, Newsday was told, has three other children, ages six, four and two, who live in Jamaica.
“The police promised to speak to Natalie (Treasure) to know if she would let us raise them but it seems as if they didn’t, because they come for them,” Janet said. She is still praying that God will grant her favour and allow her the privilege to raise the twin girls. “It’s all I have to remember my son and I know they will get love because we love them.” Janet said she had spoken to Treasure’s mother who was making preparations to come to Trinidad but there were no flights available because of the Carnival activities.
The distraught woman again made an appeal for assistance in getting her son’s body back home for burial. She needs TT$12,000 and is willing to accept donations.
“The funeral home has been good to me and said they would not charge for storage,” she explained. “The money is to transport the body back to Jamaica.” Newsday contacted the Jamaica High Commission in Port-of-Spain and queried whether financial assistance will be granted to the family. An official promised to return the call but had not up to press time.