Thu | Feb 20, 2020

Cops not convinced Temple Hall boy was murdered

Published:Thursday | February 13, 2020 | 12:27 AMAndre Williams/Staff Reporter
A resident holds a photo of Mark Leslie, the 11-year-old Mannings Hill Primary student who was found dead in Temple Hall.
A resident holds a photo of Mark Leslie, the 11-year-old Mannings Hill Primary student who was found dead in Temple Hall.

The police have cautioned that they have not yet ruled the mystery death of Mark Leslie, an 11-year-old boy whose body was found in a stream, as murder. This after a forensic pathologist concluded last Saturday that the cause of death was blunt-head trauma.

Investigators, however, are not, at this point, treating the incident as a foul play.

Detective Inspector Karen Salmon yesterday told The Gleaner that the experts concluded that the blunt trauma to his head was consistent with a fall.

“Notwithstanding, we are still doing our investigation to see if we can uncover any additional facts which are of evidential value that can enhance the investigation,” Salmon told our news team.

She told The Gleaner that an investigation into the incident is ongoing, and anybody who has information that can assist should contact the Stony Hill police at (876) 942-2223 or the Constant Spring police at (876) 924-1421.

Mark went missing on January 29, and his body was found two days later, at 11:30 a.m., with his sweater over his head.

A relative disclosed that although Mark went missing on January 29, the pathologist theorised that he died the following night.

It was also revealed that there was blood coming from the boy’s nose.

Mark was reported missing when he did not return home from school. According to family members, checks revealed that he neither showed up to school that day nor took his usual bus in the morning.

The grade-six student was described by his neighbours and family as a quiet boy who was respectful and intelligent.

Yesterday, when The Gleaner visited Temple Hall, residents said that the mystery death had caused a paradigm shift in community culture, with parents refraining from allowing kids to venture out too early to school in the dark mornings .

“I always walk my children down in the morning and go meet them in the evenings. We just can’t take any chances,” a mother of three said.

Another resident said that the entire district was still mourning the loss of Mark and hoped for the police to make a breakthrough soon.