Daughter of Trinidad mayor found dead in Jamaica canefield
KINGSTON, Jamaica, Wednesday June 13, 2012 – San Fernando mayor and deputy leader of Trinidad’s United National Congress (UNC) Marlene Coudray is battling to come to terms with a mother’s worst nightmare. The body of her daughter Michelle Coudray was discovered on Sunday evening in a canefield in Montego Bay, Jamaica.
Michelle’s mortal remains, burnt beyond recognition, were discovered shortly after 4:30 pm Jamaican time. Identification was secured by dental records and a bracelet she wore.
Mayor Coudray was in the process of packing her suitcase to go to Jamaica in search of her missing daughter when she received a call from that country confirming her worse fears.
Earlier, Jamaica’s TV6 News had quoted Jamaica’s Deputy Superintendent of Police Steve Brown as saying a body had been found near the location where Michelle was last seen.
Now, Coudray’s trip with her partner Larry Achong has been transformed into the heartrending task of taking her daughter’s remains back home to Trinidad.
Prior to the tragic discovery, the mayor had made an impassioned appeal for the return of her daughter. “If someone has her, please release my daughter. She has three young children who are missing her,” she said.
Coudray has been taking care of Michelle’s children, who are 11, seven and five years-old respectively, since earlier this year while their mother taught Spanish and French at Cornwall College, a school in Montego Bay.
Michelle, 38, who was separated from her Jamaican husband, previously worked with Air Jamaica and at the Sandals Resort.
She had last visited Trinidad on May 6 for her son’s birthday. Her mother was at the time in Belize attending a government conference and asked her to stay until she returned. Michelle stayed for three weeks before returning to Jamaica. She reportedly called home on May 31 to say she had arrived safely.
Mayor Coudray explained that Michelle had been experiencing problems with her telephone, so she thought nothing of it when she did not initially respond to calls. She said her internet connection at home was also not working so they had no other contact with her.
Reports indicate that Michelle was last seen at about 12:30 am on June 2 in the Cornwall Courts area of St James, a few metres from her rented Montego Bay apartment.
The alarm was raised last week when Coudray’s estranged son-in-law’s mother called her and expressed concern that Michelle could not be found, after she failed to keep a date to visit the family. They also made a report to the police, whose investigations subsequently led to the tragic discovery.