Sat | May 25, 2019

‘We were hoping it wasn’t her’ - 17-y-o May Pen High student found dead in Clarendon

Published:Tuesday | May 14, 2019 | 12:24 AMCecelia Campbell-Livingston/Gleaner Writer
Stefica Smith
Stefica Smith

A missing teenage girl has been found dead in Clarendon, bringing to four the number of children killed within the last month.

As her school community was getting ready to mobilise a search with her father yesterday, confirmation of news that the body of 17-year-old Stefica Smith was found in bushes in Four Paths, Clarendon, plunged May Pen High School into mourning.

The principal said that the tragic news has shaken the entire school community, including Stefica’s peers who are now sitting Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate examinations.

“Since I came on the scene and telephoned them, they were hoping it was not true. While we are here (crime scene) and we believe that she is the person wrapped up under the sheet, we were still hoping that she is not the one, but the dress that we could see from here, we know that she is the one,” said principal Winston Preddie.

The headmaster said the body looked nothing like the girl they knew.

DISFIGURED BODY

“It was a terrible sight. Her face is mashed up, her eyes pulp and her throat slashed,” he said.

Describing Stefica as “a very nice-behaving girl”, he said she was born in England, but came to Jamaica when her parents, Maurice and Pauline, returned home.

The teen’s father was too heartbroken to speak to The Gleaner yesterday.

The principal is calling on the Government to do more to ensure criminals are brought to justice to deter acts of savagery.

“A boy come to school with a knife. A girl walks on the street, she is not safe. Tell me what we gonna do? And we gonna go back to Parliament, we gonna pass some nice laws to take care of people’s psychological affairs, and we are gonna die one by one and nothing is gonna change,” he said, adding that unless murderers get their just punishment, homicide figures will continue to escalate.

At least 18 children have been killed since the start of the year.

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