Bartica man charged over killing wife, two daughters in house fire

A man who is accused of setting fire to a home resulting in his wife and two daughters being burnt alive, was on Wednesday charged with murder and remanded to prison.ย Kenford Downer appeared before Magistrate Crystal Lambert at the Vreed-en-Hoop Magistrateโ€™s Court.

Downer was not required to plead to the indictable charges which stated that on December 12, 2020, at Four Miles Squatting Area, Bartica, Potaro Road, he murdered his wife, Carolina Kennedy, 48; and his two daughters; Gabriella Kennedy, 3, and Marianna Kennedy, 5.

He was remanded to prison until January 27, 2021.

According to reports, on the day in question at about 21:30 hrs an unknown caller, called the Bartica Police Station and reported a fire at the home of Downer.ย  As a result, the Police and Fire Service responded.

Upon arrival, the wooden structure was seen completely engulfed in flames. The water tender was unable to reach the houseโ€™s location and as such a bucket brigade was formed.

When the fire was extinguished what appeared to be the charred remains of the woman and her two daughters were pulled from the rubble. Based on information, a manhunt was launched for Downer who was found hiding in the bushes a short distance from the house. He was arrested by Police and taken to the Bartica Hospital for minor burns to his feet.

Following investigations, the Police sent a file to the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions which advised that Downer be charged with three counts of murder during the furtherance of arson.