Barbados police claim 'nothing to indicate' Natalie Crichlow - mother of Hartlepool United loan signing Romoney Crichlow-Noble’s - was killed by intruder

Barbados police have said there is "nothing to indicate" an intruder was responsible for the death of Natalie Crichlow, the mother of Hartlepool loan signing Romoney Crichlow-Noble.

Friday, 16th August 2019, 5:42 pm
Updated Monday, 19th August 2019, 1:53 pm
Picture issued by GoFundMe of Natalie Crichlow

The 44-year-old was visiting family in the West Indies when she was reportedly attacked and set alight by an unknown raider in a bedroom on July 28.

A GoFundMe page, local media reports and her niece had said a man had throttled the mother-of-three before throwing flammable liquid on her and torching the wooden house.

But police on the Caribbean island said "very high quality" CCTV from a neighbouring house has "clearly demonstrated that no-one entered those premises for hours prior to the fire taking place".

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Tyrone Griffith, Commissioner of the Royal Barbados Police Force, added investigators had found no smell of any accelerant and the fire was concentrated in the kitchen, where food was being prepared.

He told a press conference on Thursday evening: "At this stage there is nothing to indicate that there was an intruder at those premises.

"About 13.43 hours, 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 away a sheet of galvanise from the yard to gain entry and assisted in getting to the deceased who was found in the yard badly burnt.

"The ambulance was summoned and she was taken to the hospital."

He added gas canisters were found in the kitchen and the "corrugated fence was fully intact apart from the sheet that was removed to provide access for the victim".

Mr Griffith said: "This matter is being treated as an unnatural death and intense investigations are ongoing."

Luton-born Ms Crichlow, who had survived cancer twice and had two strokes in the past decade, was on the trip to help look after her disabled brother.

A post mortem examination found Ms Crichlow, of Colingdale, north London, died as a result of infection from the burns on August 6, Mr Griffith added.

Ms Crichlow had three children, Romoney, 20, as well as a 10-year-old and a 26-year-old.

They want to get her back home to Britain for burial and a GoFundMe page has raised nearly £20,000.

Her niece Ashley Best previously told reporters: "The intruder broke in the house, then strangled her and then set her alight.

"I do not understand why it happened and we are all in a state of shock."