A close-knit St John family woke up to its worst nightmare this morning.
What started out as a normal day for Mitchell Toppin quickly turned into shock and horror as he was summoned by police to Wakefield Main Road in the same parish to identify the partially decomposed body of his 38-year-old son.
Police say they received a report around 8:40 a.m. from an individual who said that a man was lying motionless off the roadway.
On arrival, they discovered the body of Antonio Mapp lying face down in bushes next to his motorcycle and helmet.
As news spread of Mapp’s death scores of onlookers gathered at the scene before forensic officials removed the body.
Amid the flurry of activity, one resident, who requested anonymity, told Barbados TODAY he was the one who had made the gruesome discovery and made the call to police.
The resident explained that he was making his way home by foot when he heard strange noises coming from a nearby grass field.
“I heard some weird sounds as I was walking. When I looked I saw the mongoose in the grass and it appeared as though they were fighting, so that really brought it to my attention. I then decided to look over the bridge into the grass and I saw the body,” he said, explaining that “after that I went home and I call my partner and told him that I just found a body and we came back to the scene to confirm that the person was actually dead”.
However, based on what he saw, the resident said he was finding it difficult to make sense of Mapp’s death.
“We saw a track that was leading to the body and the grass was mashed down so we assumed he was riding and then we saw the motorcycle, but it is very strange that he lost his life like that. I really don’t know what happened here. It looks like he fell off the bike or was hit, but I really can’t tell,” he said, while lamenting Mapp’s death.
“This is so sad,” he said.
When Barbados TODAY visited the scene around noon the overall mood was sombre as members of Mapp’s family openly expressed their grief.
His grieving father said he last saw Mapp, who lived with him, on Saturday.
“I really don’t know what happened to my son, Antonio. All I can say is we found him here dead.
“I called for him yesterday morning and I thought he was downstairs sleeping, but I didn’t know all this time that my son was down here lying down dead,” he told Barbados TODAY, while describing his son, who was a mason and Barbados Defence Force soldier, as a people’s person.
“He was such a quiet and nice person. He was the type of boy that when he was around everybody would be laughing. Everyone would pass and holler for him and they would just be talking and laughing. He gets along with everybody,” Toppin said of the late father of a 13-year-old.
Another family member, who did not want to be identified, said “Antonio was simple easy going and a friendly person.
“We were on our way out and he passed and shouted me like normal, so for this now to happen it is very shocking.”
Police are continuing investigations into the matter.