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2 dead in burnt out Cane Grove house

2 dead in burnt out Cane Grove house

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Police believe the two charred bodies found in a burnt out house at Cane Grove last weekend were the result of a murder/suicide.{{more}}

Investigators are working on the theory that David Charles, 44, a former policeman and minibus operator, killed his girlfriend, Debra Shallow, 43, and then set fire to the house in which he died on August 28, 2009.

A statement from the police said both deaths occurred about 4:45 a.m. last Saturday and the bodies were discovered on the lower level of the two-storey home the couple shared at Cane Grove.

Shallow, an audit manager in the Audit Department of the Ministry of Finance, had been scheduled to leave the country for Barbados the following day to pursue studies leading to the award of a Master’s degree in Banking and Finance at the University of the West Indies on an Organisation of American States (OAS) scholarship.

She never made it beyond the living room.



A distraught Landreth Shallow, the dead woman’s uncle, told SEARCHLIGHT he could not in a million years have envisioned such a tragedy happening to his niece.

“I feel real depressed … by all of this and I don’t know what to think,” Shallow said. The Campden Park resident described her as a fun loving and jovial person whom he would miss tremendously.

Meanwhile, Miriam Roache, one of Charles’ sisters, said she has been walking around in a daze since hearing the news of the tragedy.

“I just could not believe what I heard this morning…. This is a sad loss for both families,” Roache told SEARCHLIGHT at the scene of the incident, a few hours after the bodies were discovered.

Roache, who appeared despondent as she spoke to SEARCHLIGHT, related several occasions on which she had to assist in resolving differences between the couple.

“My brother was always an open person and would reveal some of his most intimate problems to me,” she added.

She explained how earlier in the same week of the tragedy she received a telephone call from her daughter telling her that Charles had been trying to contact her.

“I was in Union Island at that time … so when I came back home later that week I called him (Charles) and he started expressing some of his thoughts to me.” Charles promised to visit her at the Financial Complex where she works, but never showed.

SEARCHLIGHT contacted Shallow’s son, but he declined to comment on the matter.

Post mortems are still to be carried out on both remains to determine the causes of death.

The deaths of Shallow and Charles were two of five, including four homicides, that shocked St. Vincent last weekend. The homicide toll now stands at 13, while for all of 2008 there were 27.

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