KINGSTON — Thirteen-year-old Selena Stewart did not get the help she needed. No one knew she needed it.
The St Thomas Technical High School student from ‘Columbia’ in eastern St Thomas is suspected to have committed suicide on Sunday after being reprimanded by her 39-year-old mother Angela Deans.
The Golden Grove police told the Jamaica Observer that about 1:00 pm Selena’s mother, who has three other children, spoke to her about leaving the yard for a fun day in the community. The police said while speaking to the child a slipper and a piece of board were used to hit her and she was told that she would not be attending the fun day.
Deans reportedly went to a kitchen in the yard, leaving Selena in the open. The police said sometime after Deans was in the process of placing a pair of slippers in a makeshift structure housing a pit latrine when she discovered her daughter’s body hanging by an electric cord from the roof.
The teen was removed and rushed to Princess Margaret Hospital in the parish where she was pronounced dead.
It is said that a book in which she wrote about her feelings has disappeared.
Yesterday, Selena’s grandmother, Winniefred Hall, was inconsolable when the Observer visited the family home.
Hall, Deans and other grief-stricken family members were being counselled by the Ministry of Justice’s Victim Support Unit’s Uriel Smith and Lenna Campbell.
“Selena was so nice. She never had no problem that she nuh come and share with me,” Hall said.
She explained that she was at the front of the yard when she got a call that her granddaughter “drop down”.
“When mi reach mi see her on the ground and a man blowing in her mouth. They said she was breathing a little and mi run call fi help, and dem rush her go hospital,” the woman, who is a vendor at Coronation Market in downtown Kingston, shared.
She added: “Anything Selena want she get it. I don’t know if something went wrong at school, I don’t know. Just so easy and simple, we don’t know what caused her to do it.”
Deans, who was also present, did not speak much.
“She was very jovial, but a little miserable,” was how she described her daughter.
At the teen’s school, to which she was transferred from Paul Bogle High in September, an emergency meeting with senior staff members was in progress yesterday. Principal Kerry-Ann Coombs Williams later described the situation as delicate when she spoke with the Observer.
She said counselling sessions are being held with the second-form cohort to provide an avenue for them to share their problems in order to prevent a domino effect.
The police said they are investigating.