Residents in the farming community of Cowley, located in Clarendon near the town of Kellits, are still struggling to come to grips with the murder of one of their own – Owen Coleman.
The body of the 51-year-old farmer was found about 4:30AM on Friday (March 26) at Coronation Market in downtown Kingston, where he had gone to sell some of his produce.
His head was bashed in.
Reports are that a piece of metal, which is purported to have been the weapon used to hack Coleman to death, was found in a red shopping bag at the crime scene.
Coleman had been selling his produce inside Coronation Market for 35 years.
“He started when he was a small youth with my mother, and then he grew up and didn’t stop,” said the deceased man’s sister, Hyacinth Madden, better known as ‘Claudette’.
She said Coleman was a dedicated farmer who grew a wide variety of crops, including yampi and other species of yam.
“Him have about 200 hills of yampi that him plant and should start to stick. He has a lot of dasheen, coco, sweet potato, pack choi, cabbage and those things,” the sister said.
She further told The Beacon that Coleman and other farmers in Cowley usually leave the community weekly on a market truck to sell their produce in Spanish Town or Kingston.
Coleman left on Wednesday evening, March 24, destined for Kingston.
He should have returned home three days later, but tragedy struck.
The Cowley community has been jolted by news of the murder.
Coleman’s sister explained: “The residents tied black cloth about three miles on light post; it is pure mourning from the cross road straight to the home [where Coleman lived]. The people can’t believe; they can’t believe that happened.”
The sister added that her brother, who has two children, was humble, hard-working and quiet.
“He was a nice person – a genuine person; he don’t make any trouble,” she further commented.
She recalled one of the saddest moments being when someone showed up at the family’s home with her late brother’s belongings, including the clothes he wore to the market.
“When the lady bring them here, I have to run to the back [of the house] and cry for about one hour,” the sister continued.
“When I look and saw the clothes that my brother wear to the market – only the clothes come back, [along with] the phone, the ear-piece and some more stuff in the bag. I don’t know how we are going to overcome this.”
The sister told The Beacon that her family does not know the motive for the murder or who perpetrated it.
But she expressed surprise that relatives did not find any money on her brother’s body.
“[The killer] didn’t take any of the goods, but my [late] brother did tell his stepson that he have $18,000 on him. My sister [in Kingston] don’t find any money; we don’t know what is going on,” the sister said.
She, like other members of the family, appealed for anyone with information about the murder to bring it to police attention.
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