The community of Commodore in Linstead, St. Catherine, is in shock and grief after the body of an eight-year-old resident was found hanging at her home late yesterday afternoon, September 26.
The Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) said it suspects that Naomi Jones committed suicide.
It told The Beacon: “Reports from the Linstead Police indicate that, about 5:15PM, Naomi was found hanging from the roof inside her home by means of a makeshift clothing line. She was taken to hospital where she was pronounced dead.”
Investigations are continuing.
The child’s mother, Michelle Henry, said she left Naomi and two younger siblings at home.
She went to assist one of her other daughters who was doing her second day on the job as a janitor in Linstead, she explained.
“When I came back home after 5 o’clock, the other two children were sleeping and Naomi was hanging from the roof,” the mother said. “I was pass shock. Mi think a play Naomi did a play. Right now, all of us feel distraught.”
Asked if her late daughter was showing any sign of depression, the mother replied: “No; we were here happy. One thing, mi have dem and mi haffi work.”
She stated that, prior to leaving home, she warned Naomi not venture into the street.
“Mi seh to her, ‘Naomi, yuh can’t be going outside because mi a goh inna problem’. Mi even seh, ‘if police pass and si oonu in the street, mi a goh prison and oonu a goh [children’s] home’,” the mother recalled.
She has a total of eight children.
Two live overseas, two boys are learning a skill, one of her daughters just got a job in Linstead, and the three youngest children were left at home when tragedy struck.
The mother added that Naomi and three of her siblings have the same ‘delinquent’ father.
Her current boyfriend is the father of her two last children. “Him hustle; the two a wi haffi hustle,” the mother emphasized.
However, some area residents told The Beacon that the children are often left without adult supervision, and little Naomi was usually the one in charge.
A resident who requested anonymity said: “They always leaving the kids unattended; the poor little girl (Naomi) probably under stress; the family life is not pretty at all.”
The mother said there is no truth to claims that her children are often left alone at home.
She added: “My baby father sister always come here [at the home] and take care of them, and sometimes she take one of the children – the one who is always giving the trouble. She always visit them like every hour or half-an-hour, and ensure they get their feeding an soh.”
THE LINE AND ROOF
The mother, in the meantime, wondered if Naomi committed suicide or if she was being playful when she died.
She explained that a makeshift clothing line, made of neckties, was tied some time ago across the roof of the house.
She further said: “It seems like when I am not there the children pull it (the clothing line) off from one end and swing on it. Soh it seems like Naomi was doing the same routine and it get out of hand this time and goh round her neck. Maybe she was trying to get out and it keep on spinning around.”
The mother also stated that it is not difficult for the children to reach the roof of the wooden house.
“It is one of the Government house. The children dem flexible; dem can goh all about in the Government house… Dem can walk goh up – and the house have a built-in ladder [that is used to reach] up to the top part storage area. The ladder can’t move; it built on the house,” she further told The Beacon.
The mother said she has fond memories of Naomi – a little fashionista.
“Naomi love to dress up; she wanted to be a fashion designer,” she added. “Naomi would tek mi clothes and mek all manner of movie character. She dress up like dem. She used her hand an design all the clothes dem.”
Naomi was enrolled at Linstead Primary and Junior High School.
The school’s principal, Gloria Johnson, visited the bereaved family today.
The Author: Horace Mills holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Media and Communications from CARIMAC – University of the West Indies. He is the recipient of various awards, including the prestigious FairPlay Award and the Prime Minister’s National Youth Award For Excellence In Journalism. Mills worked as News Editor in the British Virgin Islands, and as Senior Journalist in both radio and print media. During his teenage years, Mills was a Correspondent for Teen Herald, and Editor of The Eagle – a publication at Charlemont High School, where Mills also served as Head Boy. He is a journalist at heart.
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