78-year-old farmer Heziekia Pinnock

The quiet community of Tate near Kellits in Clarendon was jolted this morning by news that an elderly resident is suspected to have committed suicide on his farm beside the house he shared with his wife and other relatives.

The deceased is 78-year-old farmer Heziekia Pinnock, who, up to the time of his death, was a deacon at the Siloam Gospel Hall Church of the First Born in Tate district.

His father, Charles Pinnock, passed away in April shortly before his 100th birthday.

Zenova Gayle-Pinnock said her husband of more than 40 years was still grieving his father’s death, but she had no clue he was depressed to the extent that he would commit suicide.

“He was not feeling well; he went to the doctor and he was supposed to do a test on Friday. We were putting the money together for him to do the test. He was jovial with everybody,” she told The Beacon.

She continued: “The only thing I know is that he was grieving because he lost his father. I don’t know if there is anything on his mind or what. I don’t know what could trigger him to do that. It is alarming. He is a deacon in the church; he is a prayerful person. He always prayed before he goes to his bed; he always prays when he wakes up.”

Mrs. Pinnock, who stated that she is doing an online Bible course, said she last saw her husband alive on Tuesday night.

“I was doing a study last night up to 11 o’clock and he was in the bedroom. I finished the study after 11 and he was playing his radio. Because I cannot take the noise with the radio and I didn’t want to interrupt him, I sleep in another room,” she said.

She added that, shortly before daybreak, she heard when someone open the back door at the house.

“His (Mr. Pinnock’s) usual time to wake up was within 5:30AM to 6AM. He would wake up that time. He is a farmer, and so he would go and look at his animals, and then he would have his coffee and go to his field, and then he would come back home 9AM and have his breakfast, rest off, and then go back to his field because it is not far from the home,” Mrs. Pinnock explained.

She stated that she was shocked when an alarm was raised that her husband was found hanging by a length of rope from an ackee tree beside his pig pen.

“A farmer was passing by the pig pen and saw him there and made the alarm. That’s how we get to hear [about the case of suspected suicide]. We didn’t expect anything,” the wife said. “‘Everybody in the community is shocked because he is a very quiet decent man in the community, well loved in the community.”

In the meantime, the pastor of the church, Vincent Tulloch, visited the wife shortly after hearing about the incident.

He stated that he does not know specifically what is behind the suspected suicide, but he is of the view that the late deacon was stressed.

Asked what may have caused the purported stress, Pastor Tulloch said Mr. Pinnock recently lost his father and was having ‘some differences’ with some siblings.

“He is a quiet person and he does not talk much, which could be one of his problems. Even in this situation, we realized that he was having some stress, but he didn’t share it with me, and there are other deacons in the church that he could have shared it with, but he did not do so. He just had a quiet temperament and he does not talk much,” the clergyman added.

He opined that the late Pinnock carried out his role as a deacon with passion.

“He was a good deacon in the church. He did his duties quite well. I commend him quite often. He is always there trying to substitute when others are absent. Since this very week, he cleaned up the church-yard,” he added.

The late Pinnock and his wife did not have any biological children together, but they adopted many. The wife told The Beacon that her late husband loved children and would often play with those who live at his home.

One of his grandchildren, Soreeta Francis, said he was a great man. “He was a nice person. His death really hurts,” she commented.

The police, who went to the scene today, are investigating the matter.

This is the second case of suspected suicide within weeks involving elderly farmers near Kellits.

In the first case, 69-year-old farmer Errol Davis, from Coley district in St. Ann, is suspected to have committed suicide in his community on Monday, July 5. He too was found hanging by a length of rope from a tree.


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By Mills