Jamaica Observer:- The father of a teenaged girl who was murdered in Trench Town, Kingston, yesterday called for a resumption of hanging after he viewed her charred remains in the depressed community.
Lionel Francis made the call after going to 85 West Road where 14-year-old Yetanya was found, hours after she went missing.
The Jamaica Observer learnt that the teenager went to purchase food in the community minutes after 8:00 pm Thursday. When she did not return home, Francis, who had just got back to the house from work, went in search of the Kingston Technical High School student.
Francis, who last saw his daughter on Tuesday before leaving for work in Negril, said his search ended at 11:00 am yesterday after residents stumbled upon Yetanya’s body and summoned the police.
“Mi cyaah believe say a mi little daughter that,” Francis told the Observer as his voice quaked.
He made his impassioned plea for the return of hanging to St Andrew Southern Member of Parliament Mark Golding.
“How mi supposed to feel? Mi son over there so with mi a while ago and mi not even know what to tell him. Mi little son, 13-year-old, just change age last week. How mi explain to him when him reach of age and want to look back on that, Mr Golding? What me can tell him?
“How mi a go explain [his sister’s death] to him? We have to stop it. We have to change it, Mr Golding,” Francis said.
“Mr Golding, chop off the head mi say, enuh. A that mi a say and mi woulda like fi hear that sound echo in the Parliament, even if it means the last day of yuh job,” he insisted. “Mi would like to see somebody who is saying the same thing that I am saying for more than 25 years now.
“Mi never know hanging, and me a 42-year-old a turn 43 in a couple months from now. Mi never know hanging and mi never wah to say me know it, but Mr Golding, in front of everybody who deh yah so and can hear mi voice, if a that it a guh take for some people to realise some beast weh a walk this land realise say people have a right, as much as them think they have a right to walk up and down freely, a it we affi do, Mr Golding.
“Because me think say after the first head roll… Nobody else won’t want for their head to roll,” Francis said, adding that if hanging is the only method that will deter perpetrators from committing criminal acts, it should resume.
Insisting that the brutal slaying of his first child should be the last such killing, Francis said the authorities should not wait for another tragedy to consider the resumption of hanging.
“It have to start from somewhere. People have to stop being hypocritical behind them big roof. Come inna the ghetto come live it and feel it, and then you can talk ’bout what is law and what should pass and what is right from what is not right. You understand? Come feel it yourself,” he reasoned as he fought to hold back tears.
The father of three said even if he is crucified for his utterances, he will stand by them.
“Me live for my youths them, so if me dead a talk over the dead body of my daughter, me want it to stop,” he cried.
Francis said he wants a better Trench Town community.
“Mi cyaah believe say mi live inna this for 40-odd years and mi cyaah walk out and come in without affi a worry bout mi youths them safety, Mr Golding?” he asked.
Yetanya’s killing revived memories of the brutal slaying of 17-year-old Mickolle Moulton in the neighbouring community of Arnett Gardens on August 6 last year.
Mickolle, who was a Meadowbrook High School student, and her 12-year-old sister were shot in their bedroom by someone who pointed a gun through a window.
When the Observer visited the area where Yetanya’s body was found yesterday, residents had converged on the multi-purpose training complex that also houses a church.
Nadia Gray, whose daughter was Yetanya’s classmate, described the teen’s death as horrifying.
“She is a very nice girl, she nuh give no problem. The teachers nuh have no problem with her, gruesome man; it callous. Mankind cyaah cruel so. Dem fi think say dem have mother and sister and nieces, and them have daughters. No man, think ’bout somebody else feelings man, and parents’ belly pain,” Gray said.
She told the Observer that her daughter got wind of the tragedy yesterday morning but was not aware that it was Yetanya.
Yesterday, some of the residents were overheard saying that they heard the teen’s cries for help about 11:00 pm Thursday.
Others, who were upset that people heard her cries but did nothing, expressed disappointment.
“Mi cyaah believe say people hear and dem nuh come out and come search,” the residents said.