THREE years ago when Delene Seabourne reunited with her father, her expectation was that the relationship would be long-lasting. However, little did she know that death, allegedly at the hands of a family member, would have snatched him from her.
Delene’s 73-year-old father, Errol, was found in a shallow grave Sunday night after his relatives filed a missing person’s report. He was last seen on Friday morning.
The relatives who had been preparing for another family member’s funeral when they last saw him, said it was unlike him to not show up at the “set-up” that evening and the funeral on Saturday.
On Sunday, when one of his nieces went to his house to make checks, she was told by the deceased man’s step-grandson, who was living with him, that he had not seen him since Tuesday.
The niece detected a foul odour and raised an alarm. The residents conducted a further search that led them to an area where they saw fresh soil and the dead man’s hand protruding from the dirt.
“Mi just getting to know the man and him gone,” Delene said as she stood at a shop in the community of Pondside in Red Hills, St Andrew, yesterday.
“Mi nuh used to him yet. I met him when I was five [years old]. Mi nuh see him back until when mi a 20. Mi nuh see him back again until just the other day,” the woman told the Jamaica Observer yesterday.
Spending her 47th birthday with her father in June reassured her that the man she only knew of really wanted to be in her life.
Even though losing him was not on her mind, Delene said when she spoke with her father on Wednesday, he told her that the grandson who had allegedly threatened to kill him had returned to the area.
“I told him to be careful and he said, ‘Yeah, man, if anything I will call the police.’ So yesterday mi frighten when my brother call mi and a say dem cannot find him. Two days now dem a look for him,” she said.
The woman, who was at a meeting when she got a phone call that he had been found in a shallow grave, said it is too much for her to bear.
“Mi a say, ‘Look how we make plan because my babyfather dead and nuh bury yet,’ and I called him Wednesday and a tell him ’bout it and him a tell mi say if anything call him,” she said.
Errol’s son, Kingsley, who was also building a relationship with his father, said he had heard similar stories in the media but never thought his father would be brutally killed.
“It is so sad to know that your own grandson that you try to live for [allegedly] do something like this… The elder always try to protect you and make you know what is right from wrong. I don’t really know what triggered it…” Kingsley explained.
The deceased man’s niece, Karen, who led the search, said when she went to the police station to make a report she was told that only two officers were at the station and that they were unable to visit the community. She was reportedly asked to return on Monday.
Karen said when she along with her brother-in-law visited the house and introduced themselves to the teenager, he allegedly began acting in a “suspicious manner”.
“Mi asked him, ‘When last you see him?’ Him say, ‘Tuesday’. So mi say, ‘Tuesday? So how him missing from Tuesday and you don’t tell nobody?’
“The place was dark so mi ask him if him can turn on the light for me. Him say mi fi come inside come turn on the light. So then me say to him say, ‘Mi wah go inna the house to see if mi uncle take sick inside there.’ Then him say mi must come open the door… I took something and open the window. After we opened the window mi say, ‘Mi smell something stink’. And then him say, ‘Today’s date is what?’ Mi come out and mi scream out… Wi start to search and wi saw some fresh dirt here and wi look. When wi move away the dirt we saw his hand pointing up in the air,” Karen explained.
By this time, Karen said the teenager had turned off the light.
“He was wearing a white T-shirt so we could still see him. He had something in his hand and then he went up on the banking where my uncle is, then he went back inside the house and took up his bag and then him come down and the residents held on to him. He never said a thing until when him start get lick and we asked him how him dead, and him [allegedly] say him cut the vein on his left hand and mek him bleed out,” she added.
The teenager is now ion police custody.
The residents, who were as traumatised as the Errol’s relatives, said Errol was a good man.
“Anything you asked Mr Errol for and him nuh give you, a have him nuh have it. Him loving and kind, friendly with everybody. Anybody him nuh friendly with is who just come, who come yesterday. I’m saddened by it because is a good man. All now yuh see mi yah, mi still cyaan believe,” Carol Wellington said.