Sat | Oct 19, 2019

UPDATE: Savage child killing - 'Dem rape her and burn her like a dog', Arnett Gardens mother cries for 14-year-old

Published:Saturday | August 25, 2018 | 12:00 AMCorey Robinson/Gleaner Writer
Latoya Riley, mother of the 14-year-old Yetanya ‘Princess’ Francis, whose body was found near her home, in Arnett Gardens, south St Andrew, yesterday.

When Latoya Riley smelled smoke coming from a nearby open lot in Arnett Gardens, she thought it was from a dead animal being burned. She never imagined that it was from the body of her 14-year-old daughter.

Yetanya Francis, otherwise called 'Princess' and a student of Kingston Technical High School, was found late yesterday morning after she went missing at about 9:00 Thursday night.

Her mother said that she left their home on 12th Street in the south St Andrew community to purchase food but never returned. That set off an alarm, and residents began searching for the girl.

The teen's charred remains were found in an open lot at the Inner-city for Christ Ministry, metres from her home. Her killer(s) allegedly raped her, chopped her in the head, and then set her lifeless body on fire.


String of rapes, murders


The incident left the entire community in mourning as residents bemoaned a string of rapes and murders between 10th and 12th streets in the community in recent months.

This latest incident follows the rape of an eight-year-old girl two weeks ago in the neighbouring Trench Town community.

"Last night, I was inside dozing off, and is like I just saw the little girl (Yetanya) come in front of me, and I jump up. Is when I jump up now I smell something burning, and I ask, 'Who could a burn dog dem hours here?' I never know that is my pickney a burn," sobbed Riley.

"Me never know this would come at my foot. I see them things here on Facebook and news. I never know this would come at my foot."

"I call her phone. It rang, and then it stop ringing about after 10 p.m. From she leave out, she don't return," said the mother, who collapsed upon discovery of her daughter's body.

"Dem rape her and burn her like a dog. But Father God, you see and know you are going to answer my prayer," she said, bursting into a fresh bout of tears.

Yesterday, residents described the girl as bright, fun-loving, and eager to celebrate her birthday next month.

Some persons said that they heard shouts of rape and for help coming from the open lot but said that the shouts quickly dissipated in the darkness of 12th Street, which they claimed has been without street lights for many months.

Such reports angered one pastor from the church near where Francis' body was found, who lambasted residents for not investigating the screams.

(EDITOR'S NOTE: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that Yetanya Francis went missing on Saturday night)