WINNIPEG — Police in Jamaica say they have made an arrest in the deaths of a husband and wife from Winnipeg a month ago.
Melbourne Flake, who was 81, and 70-year-old Etta Flake were found dead in their Saint Thomas vacation home on Jan. 9.
Their daughter, Debbie Olfert, says she and her four siblings are happy a man is in custody, but she cautions he is only a suspect.
Olfert has previously said that her mother was suffocated and her father was beaten in an apparent botched robbery.
Their funeral is in Winnipeg on Saturday.
The Flakes had lived in Winnipeg for 53 years after immigrating to Canada.
Melbourne Flake worked for 38 years as a carpenter for the Department of National Defence and his wife retired after years as a nurse.
Olfert faced several challenges bringing her parents home from Jamaica. She had to wait for a signature from the coroner’s office to release her parents’ bodies. She also had to work to expedite their death certificates — which she said usually aren’t issued for up to a year or more in the Caribbean country.
Another challenge was the cost — $13,000 plus airfare — to transport the couple to Winnipeg.
Her mother’s body just arrived on Wednesday and her father’s remains came on Thursday.
Olfert said her grief over her parents is renewed as each of her siblings arrives in Winnipeg for the funeral.
“I find myself sharing their pain because they are just, for the first time, coming into a place where their parents were. Where they lived. Where they worked. And it becomes more real.”
She said it does help that someone is in custody.
“In any family who’s gone through this, to have that person floating around, laughing it up, enjoying life while the families are still suffering is injury upon injury. It’s like heaping coals on our heads.”
Police are not releasing the man’s name pending further investigation.
(CTV, CJOB, The Canadian Press)
The Canadian Press