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May 10, 2021

Mother and Child Perish in Fire: Ex-Common-law Husband Detained

Kendra Middleton & Aiden Perez

A deadly house fire intentionally set by an enraged former common-law has claimed the lives of a Saint Matthew’s Village resident and her three-year-old son.  It’s a tragic story of domestic abuse and family members had no idea the latest incident would end in such loss. News Five’s Isani Cayetano reports.

 

Barbara Fisher, Mother of Deceased

“6:15, to be very exact, my son was out here, the baby son, and he cried, “Mommy, Demas is here at the gate.”  So I just looked at my husband and I said, “Open the gate.”  And Demas came in and sat by the chair inside the second veranda and he just looked at me and I looked at him and I said, “Why did you kill my daughter?”

 

Isani Cayetano, Reporting

It’s a powerful image of a nonverbal confession that Demas Mendez is responsible for the death of Kendra Middleton and her son, three-year-old Aiden Perez, in an arson turned double homicide.  The incident happened on Friday night, here at Middleton’s home in St. Matthew’s Village.  The raging fire brought to an end a tumultuous, short-lived relationship that often led to bouts of physical abuse.  For Kendra, the only daughter of Barbara Fisher, the situation between her and Demas took a turn for the worst last Monday.

 

Barbara Fisher

“My daughter called me, she called me seven o’clock in the night.  She said, “Mommy,” ih seh, “Come ya”.  Ih seh, “Dis bwai slam choke me, yoh know, ova di fence.”  So I tell ahn, I said, “I’ll be there right now.”  And I called my neighbor again.”

 

Together, they found the couple embroiled in a physical altercation.  That night, Fisher spoke with her daughter and her ex-common-law husband about the frequent violence that plagued their relationship.  Little did she know that a few days later, things would come to a horrific, fiery end.  Dana Lewis woke up to several missed calls on her cell phone on the night of the incident.  Her sister had tried desperately to make contact with her.

 

Dana Lewis

Dana Lewis, Aunt of Deceased

“I called and when I called, she was crying.  I mean like at the tip of her voice and she said, “Where are you?  Please come.”  I said, “What happened?”  She said, “They killed Kendra and Aiden.  They burnt them.”  She said, “They are dead.”

 

 

Hilberto Romero

Sr. Supt. Hilberto Romero, Deputy Head, National Crimes Investigation Branch

“Upon their arrival, they saw a building measuring fifteen feet by twenty feet completely engulfed in flames.  The fire services were called and [they] extinguished the fire.  A search was conducted on the remains which led to the discovery of charred remains of an adult and a child.”

 

That police description does not capture the heartbreak for the families. The entire time Barbara Fisher stood helpless outside of the property as the inferno consumed her loved ones.

 

Barbara Fisher

Barbara Fisher

“So I ran, you know, as any parent would do.  I ran and I tried to see if I could go in to get them out but the house was already on fire, you know.  So the police held me and said, “Mommy, yoh can’t go een.”  And I tell ahn, “Please mek ah go get mi daughter and mi lee grandbaby.  Please.”  And ih tell mi, ih seh ah couldn’t go een deh and then dehn hold me and then the house, I watched the house just gone to nothing.”

 

Out of an abundance of caution, the officers and firemen did not inform her that the bodies had been recovered from the scene of the fire.

 

Barbara Fisher

“The last thing I saw was when dehn bring out a black bag and I know it was a body bag but I asked them, “Please mek ah sih weh deh een deh.”  And dehn tell me, “No mommy, da just sohn lee pieces a thing weh we find.”  Dehn neva wahn tell me da my daughter.”

 

The following morning, Mendez showed up at the family home and sat on the veranda.  Despite being allowed entry into the yard, he said nothing to the grief-stricken mother.

 

Barbara Fisher

“I said, “The Holy Spirit tells me that you killed my daughter.”  And he bowed his head and he lift it up and he tells me, “Miss B, I am sorry I am sorry.”

 

Shortly afterwards, Mendez was taken into police custody.

 

Sr. Supt. Hilberto Romero

“An investigation was carried out into this matter and her ex common-law husband was detained.  He has since been charged for the two counts of murder and arson.  He has been identified as Demas Mendez, thirty-year-old Belizean of Harmonyville.”

 

Reporting for News Five, I am Isani Cayetano.


Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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