Family seeks answers | St John man dies mysteriously in KingstonJune 17, 2019
A family originally from St John district, located at the border of St Catherine and Clarendon, just ended a most tumultuous weekend, and the weeks ahead may not be much better.
It has been gripped with grief and uncertainty since it received information that a loved one, Damar Gray, died as a result of an incident at Jamaica Conference Centre in downtown Kingston on Friday morning, June 14.
The 25-year-old Gray grew up in St John with his grandmother Icilda Wallace before he migrated to Kingston some years ago to live with an older sibling, Omar Wallace. Gray is a past student of Kellits High School in Clarendon and the state-owned skills training centre in the Lluidas Vale area of St Catherine.
He initially went to Kingston on school-based job experience, but he remained there and worked with different companies over the years.
Gray was a few months into his last job, which brought him on the ill-fated mission to the Jamaica Conference Centre.
The circumstances under which he lost his life are not yet clear, and the police Corporate Communications Unit told The Beacon that it has no record of the incident.
When our news team contacted Wallace – brother of the deceased, he too was seeking answers.
“I still don’t get the full understanding and I don’t know if there is foul play and they are covering up anything. I don’t know,” he declared.
Wallace further said he has been hearing two versions of what purportedly transpired – one of which is that Gray, who did electrical work for a living, was electrocuted while working at the Jamaica Conference Centre. He also heard that his brother fell from a ladder while on the job.
Wallace, who admitted that a post mortem may help to solve the mystery, said he is in possession of a cell phone and other items reportedly removed from his brother’s pockets at Kingston Public Hospital (KPH).
He disclosed that the family is scheduled to view the body today. “The only way I can be sure is to see the body and say ‘this is my brother’,” added Wallace with whom the late Gray lived in Kingston.
He continued: “The family is very traumatized – both family and friends. My brother is for everybody. I am the person trying to hold it together right now, and sometimes I feel like I want to explode. I have high blood pressure, and I am trying to hold certain things.”
Wallace recalled that he was at his workplace late Friday morning when he missed a phone call from his brother’s employer.
When he returned the call shortly before 1 o’clock in the afternoon, the employer told him that his brother was involved in an incident, and that he should visit KPH as soon as possible.
Wallace requested time off the job and went to the hospital where he met one of his aunts who also lives in Kingston.
He said a medical personnel at KPH informed him that his brother was brought to the hospital dead, and that the body was removed to House of Tranquility Funeral Home.
Wallace explained that he and his aunt travelled to the funeral home, but were told to first visit Denham Town Police Station for a cop to accompany them to view the body.
When they went to Denham Town Police Station, they were told that the relevant person was not in office, and that they should return this morning, June 17.
Wallace went home.
He woke the following day, Saturday, and hit the road again in search of information.
His journey took him back to Denham Town Police Station in Kingston.
Wallace told The Beacon that, when he spoke to an officer at that station, the officer told him there was no record of the incident. He, therefore, was advised to check at City Centre Police Station.
Wallace said he went to City Centre, but was told that the station – like the one in Denham Town, had no record of the incident.
It is understood that police subsequently contacted Gray’s employer and told him to visit the station to make a report.
By Horace Mills, Journalist (B.A. Media and Communications, UWI)
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