devon

Dead: Devon Charles

Devon Charles, the main suspect in the kidnapping and murder of Andrea Bharatt, has died.

Charles, 38, died at the Mt Hope Hospital this afternoon.

He had been in a coma for several days, after police said he was injured in an escape attempt.

He had suffered severe brain injuries and was paralyzed.

Charles, also known as Joel Balcon, was one of six people held in connection with the killing.

Suspect Andrew Morris, 35 of Tumpuna Road, Arima died at the Arima Hospital on February 1 but his death was reported on February 3.

Three other suspects remain in custody.

When not in prison, Charles, the father of a 13-year-old, lived at Oropouche Road, Sangre Grande.

At five foot, nine inches tall, he weighed about 165 pounds, and was described in police reports as having ‘cock teeth, and scars on the forehead, neck, and leg, and a tattoo on the left hand.

Between 2007 and 2017, he was arrested and charged with 70 crimes, including multiple counts of rape, kidnapping, false imprisonment, larceny, and robbery with aggravation.

He was granted bail in every instance, and discharged in more than 30 cases when the police and allegedly victims failed to show up in court for the years.

Charles spent more than two years in prison but was granted bail late last year.

The family of 17-year-old Teri Gomez, who went missing 13 years ago, believes she was murdered by Charles.

Gomez remains missing to this day.

Bharatt, 22 who worked as a clerk in the Arima Magistrates court disappeared around 5.50 p.m. two Fridays ago when she boarded an “H” car, a Nissan Versa at King Street, Arima with a co-worker. Police said Bharatt’s friend was dropped off near her home at Cleaver Heights, Arima but by 7.30 p.m. when Bharatt failed to arrive home her father called her cellphone.

A man answered and when he demanded to speak to his daughter he replied, “This is about money. If you don’t pay the ransom I will cut off your daughter’s ears and send it to you.”

The man on that call is believed to be Charles.

Inconclusive

An autopsy performed today on Bharatt’s body revealed that the cause of death was inconclusive. It was also confirmed that all her organs were intact.

TTPS Statement

Devon Charles/Joel Balcon, 36, of Oropouche Road, Sangre Grande, one of the suspects detained in connection with the kidnap and death of Andrea Bharatt, died this afternoon at the Eric Williams Medical Sciences Complex, Mount Hope.

Balcon was arrested at his home on Sunday 31st January 2021, by members of the Special Operations Response Team (SORT).

According to reports, in an attempt to escape from being arrested, Balcon reportedly suffered injuries and had to be taken to hospital, where he remained until his death today. Reports revealed that around 2.20 pm today, nurses at the hospital found Balcon to be unresponsive. They tried to resuscitate him, however, he was pronounced dead at 2.32 pm.

Balcon was one of several persons who were detained by the police after Bharatt was reported missing on January 29th 2021. Between 2007 and 2017, Balcon was arrested and charged with 70 offences,including multiple counts of rape, kidnapping, false imprisonment, larceny, and robbery with aggravation. At the time of his death, 45 of these cases were pending.

Bharatt, a clerk at the Arima Magistrates’ Court, was last seen entering a taxi in Arima on the afternoon of January 29th 2021 and was not seen since. Her decomposed body was found down a precipice at the Heights of Aripo on February 4.

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