KINGSTON –– Residents of Orange Hill in Brown’s Town, St Ann, are calling for the heads of those responsible for the slaying of three-year-old Nevalesia Campbell, whose body was discovered in bushes with chop wounds about 9:30 Sunday morning.
“There is nothing that a little pickney can do to deserve this, even if the parents dem do somebody something. Good God man!” one man exclaimed.
“God going bring dem to justice!” a woman added.
Acting commander of the St Ann police Superintendent Gary Francis said the mother of the child reported her missing at about 2 a.m.
“She informed the police that about 10:30 pm last night she put Nevalesia and her twin brother to bed. At about 11 p.m. she woke up and gave the child water. She was watching television with her when she fell asleep. At about 1:30 a.m. she woke up and recognised that Nevalesia was missing,” Superintendent Francis told the Jamaica Observer.
“Her body was later found with chop wounds in a precipice,” Francis said. Unconfirmed reports are that she was sexually abused by her attacker.
The mother, Mahalia Poyser, had to be taken to the hospital since the incident.
Angry residents said whoever committed the gruesome act should be punished, but the superintendent appealed to them to cooperate with the police by telling them what they know.
“Do not take justice into your own hands,” he urged.
Francis said the police are “looking into a number of theories, and are appealing to residents to tell the police what they know. We want to appeal to parents, to mothers, to do more to protect their children”, Francis said.
There are reports that residents heard a child crying in the night, but did not think it was a result of the child being harmed.
“People hear the crying and think ah duppy a cry,” one woman said.
Several of them are dispelling the mother’s report that the child was taken while she slept. They are theorising that she was at a function in the community when the child was taken and that it was perpetrated by a fellow resident.
“Something inna something,” one woman said. “Somebody know that the mother [was] not there.”
Another woman said: “When mi come ‘round ya this morning ah the mercy a God mek mi no drop down,” expressing her emotional state.
“This is a very sad day in the community; the community must come together and tell the police what they know,” Councillor for the Brown’s Town Division Delroy Redway said.
Meanwhile, Opposition Leader Portia Simpson Miller deplored the killing and has commiserated with the residents, saying that, “Jamaicans must be particularly incensed that children continue to be among the victims of vile and senseless murders.”
“I grieve with the parents, family members and the entire community at this senseless killing of one so young. I convey my sincere condolence to her parents at this time of great pain and loss,” Simpson Miller said in a statement Sunday.
The Opposition leader added that the killing represents a loss of potential as no one knows for sure the positive impact the young victim would have had on the society if she had been given the opportunity to develop into an adult and contribute to the building of her community and nation.
“All well-thinking Jamaicans must deplore and speak out against these gruesome acts of brutality against Jamaica’s children,” Simpson Miller added.