The family of a British mother who died after being doused with a flammable substance and set alight as she lay in bed in Barbados say they are “shocked and devastated” by her death.
Luton-born Natalie Crichlow, 44, was visiting family in the West Indies when she was attacked by an unknown intruder in a bedroom.
The mother-of-three, who had survived cancer twice and had two strokes in the past decade, was on a trip to help look after her disabled brother when she was attacked at his home in Christ Church on July 28.
Ms Crichlow suffered 75% burns to her body but died in hospital on August 6, the family say.
Her niece Ashley Best told PA: “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.
“She went into hospital and died of her injuries.
“For someone who had battled through so much to just be taken in this way and lose their life is just beyond understanding.”
“It is all just a shame.
“She said she wanted to live life to the fullest because her life had nearly been taken from her.”
No arrests have been made, a spokesman for the Royal Barbados Police Force said.
Ms Crichlow, of Colingdale, north London, has three children, aged 10, 20 and 26 years old, who are “devastated” and want to get her back home to Britain for burial.
Ms Crichlow, who was also known by the names of Natalee and Karma, had worked in various jobs including as door staff and as a makeup artist.
She had been proudly living as an openly-gay woman for a number of years.
Stabroek News in Barbados reported that police are on the hunt for a man who “barged into a house, choked a woman, doused her with a flammable substance and then set the house on fire”.
Ms Best said: “Justice needs to be served and our justice is to try and bring her home to rest.”
Family friend Mitra Wikes remembered Ms Crichlow as “a true survivor and warrior who endured so much in life but always kept going and had a true passion for living life to the max no matter what she had gone through”.
She added: “This is why it’s so heartbreaking that her life was taken in such a cruel way.
“After the death of her dear mother and uncle days apart earlier this year, she travelled to Barbados to deal with the funeral arrangements.
“As her disabled brother was left alone as a result of the loss of her mother, Natalie regularly visited Barbados to look after him.
“It was during one visit when she was resting in his home (he was at a nearby care facility at the time) when an intruder entered the house, strangled her and doused her and the house in petrol before setting everything alight.”
A GoFundMe campaign has been set up to try and raise the money needed to bring her body back to Britain.
A Foreign Office spokesman said: “Our staff are supporting the family of a British woman following her death in Barbados, and are in contact with the Barbados police force.”
- Press Association