Last week, the Guardian published Part 1 of this story concerning
the death of 11-year-old Akiel Chambers who was found floating in
a pool at the home of Charles and Annelore James at Haleland Park,
Maraval, on May 24, 1998. The first part dealt with Akiel being
told not to bathe in the pool at a party for the James 11-year-old
No one saw Akiel bathe in the pool, but when his body mysteriously
surfaced the following day, Akiel was wearing a mans swimming
Two post-mortems were conducted and a coroners inquest held,
but we are no where close to finding the man who snuffed Akiels
life out. Who was the man who sexually molested Akiel? Would we
ever know. Last week, a parent came forward to tell her story.
The Mystery parent
A parent who was present at the party when Akiel Chambers disappeared
and later turned up dead, has come forward, saying she no longer
sleeps properly and hopes that the boys killer will be found.
She never wanted to get involved, even though she saw some strange
things on that fateful evening at Haleland Park, Maraval.
The woman wants to remain anonymous, but ever since the Unsolved
Mysteries series started, it inspired her to say something, against
the wishes of her husband.
The womans story goes like this:
attended that party at the James house because my son was
a friend of Carrie James. I had originally planned on leaving my
son there, but I have this weird thing about pool parties. I had
to go to the mall for something, but as if God was telling me something,
I stayed at the house for the entire evening.
mingled with the other parents and I assisted Mrs James, the hostess.
I did not know the boy who was called Akiel. It was after he died
and his picture appeared in the newspapers, that I remembered him.
How did I remember him?
was this boy, looking somewhat frustrated at not being able to bathe
in the pool. I remember asking him why he was not bathing. He said
he was given strict instructions from his aunt that he was not to
bathe. You know how boys are? He was looking at the other children
in the pool who were having a good time.
never knew his name, but he seemed shy and you had to literally
beg him to eat and drink something near the pool. As I look back
ten years, I remember this guest was showing particular interest
in the boy. It was obvious to all that they were not related, but
this man was behind this little boy. If the boy went inside to use
the washroom, this man was following him. I thought nothing about
it until everything started to unfold. If I had only known, I may
have intervened, but there was nothing strange at the time.
was a time when the boy went inside and never came back out. I was
there when his aunt returned for him and he was no where to be found.
I was there when everyone was searching. I knew for a fact there
was no one in the pool that night. How in heavens name the
boy was found in the pool the next morning?
the man who was following the boy was searching too. But you know
something, no one searched inside the house, they searched around
the house, next door, down the road, and even made calls to others
who had left. Why didnt anyone search upstairs the house,
not even the police went upstairs when they came that night.
One of the parents who was present at the party was Trevor Craigwell,
who now lives in Connecticut, USA.
At the inquest hearing before Coroner Sherman Mc Nicolls, Craigwell
cried, his voice cracked and he asked for a glass of water as he
recounted the events surrounding the disappearance and death of
Akiel. It was very sad for my wife and I. It is very emotional
for me to relive it. A child died in a pool when I was supervising.
It is very emotional, I know how precious they are, I have four
kids, it is a very difficult time, Craigwell said as he wiped
his eyes with a handkerchief. Craigwell insisted that he and Mrs
Annelore James were not friends, although his statement to the police
on May 23, 1998, stated otherwise. That is a mistake, we are
not friends, Craigwell told the Coroners inquest.
Craigwell said he went to the James residence around 3.20
pm on May 23, 1998 to attend a birthday party for Carrie James.
He went there with his three sons, Christopher 10, Anthony, seven,
and Nathaniel, five. He said when he arrived at the James
residence, he saw children bathing in the pool. I took the
responsibility of supervising the kids. There was no prior arrangement
for the supervision of the kids. There were about 25 to 28 kids,
while there were three parents.
Craigwell said he sat on a chair at the side of the pool, which
he described as dirty. He said he was unable to see the bottom of
He insisted there were no alcoholic beverages at the party. He said
that around 5 pm, the children were called out of the pool to stick
the cake. He remained outside as parents started arriving to collect
their children. He said one parent, a woman, came and asked for
Akiel. I did not observe Akiel for the entire afternoon. There
were about 28 kids in the pool. I agree there was not proper supervision.
But priority began with my kids. The supervision wasnt done
properly because a child went missing.
Craigwell said a search was carried out by the children and parents,
for Akiel. Asked by the Coroner of his relationship with Patrick
Young, another parent, Craigwell replied, he was not a good
friend. He was a customer in my store. He loved my ties, but I cant
remember how many he bought. I cant say if he bought other
items. Craigwell said while the children were searching for
Akiel, Mrs James called parents who had left to find out if Akiel
left with them. Craigwell said he eventually left around 7.45 pm,
leaving behind his home telephone number in the event that Akiel
was found. The US-based witness said he received a call around midnight
from the Maraval police who wanted to know if he knew anything about
the missing boy. As a concerned parent, it was hard for me
to sleep that night. It was difficult.
The following day, around 6.15 am, he returned to Haleland Park.
My wife told me to go and look in the bushes opposite the
James residence. She told me to go and see if something had
happened. I searched the bushes, there is a mountain area. After
half an hour, I went to the market and then I went home. When I
got home, my wife told me that Mrs James had called and said they
found a body.
Craigwell said he and his wife went to the James residence.
On their arrival, Craigwell said he saw the police. He saw something
red in the pool and then the police retrieved a body. Mrs
James was crying, she was totally traumatised. She kept saying Akiel
is in the pool, Akiel is in the pool.
(Part 3 next week)
On February 5, 2006, Annelore James, 59, lost her leg when
she stopped to help an accident victim on the Solomon Hochoy Highway.
Trevor Craigwell, a businessman who accompanied his sons, Anthony
and Christopher, to the 1998 pool party, migrated in 2003 to Connecticut,
USA. Christopher currently faces a murder charge after allegedly
pummeling his grandfather, Morris King Sr, 80, who went into a
coma during what police call a drug-induced rage at
Kings Putney area, Connecticut, home on February 6 this