Thu | Nov 26, 2020

‘I need answers’ - American mom presses Holness to intervene three years after daughter’s unsolved murder

Published:Monday | September 7, 2020 | 12:28 AMJanet Silvera/Senior Gleaner Writer
Desiree Gibbon
Desiree Gibbon

WESTERN BUREAU:

American model Desiree Gibbon’s unsolved murder has forced her family to call for the intervention of Prime Minister-designate Andrew Holness three years since the heinous killing.

Desiree’s mother, Andrea Gibbon, in an open letter to Holness, said that to date, no one has been held accountable for the brutal beating and murder of her firstborn child, whose body was found in bushes along the Long Hill main road in St James.

Gibbon went missing on November 25, 2017, from her grandmother’s bed-and-breakfast, Gibb’s Chateau, in Mt Salem, St James. She was found with her throat slit days later.

Andrea Gibbon believes that her daughter was killed elsewhere but that the killers transported her body and dumped it in bushes, where a property caretaker nearby stumbled upon her corpse.

“I want answers. I need justice for my beloved daughter. She was my world, my life, my fame. She is the best thing I ever did,” the mother pleaded.

“I’m sure you can say the same when you look at your sons, Adam and Matthew.”

Questioning the perceived callousness and ease with which Jamaicans have come to accept murder as a normal way of life, Gibbon accused the police who are investigating the case of covering up her daughter’s murder.

She said she learnt of the murder after a Jamaican reporter alerted the New York press.

“What a shame! The detectives working on Desiree’s case have failed to follow up leads given to them. They deleted her phone records received from AT&T as one detective informed us that they were not useful and proceeded to say he only requested one day of records,” the mother charged.

Gibbon claims that evidence taken from the murder scene (one Tory Burch flip flop) was given to Desiree’s uncle at her grandmother’s bed and breakfast and was not kept for evidence and swabbed for DNA.

“Desiree’s Jamaica phone mysteriously disappeared, and when I kept pressing, I was told it was sent to Kingston. Now I am being told it was empty despite my taking pictures of everything in her phone. Names and phone numbers were given to the investigators and have yet to be followed up,” Gibbon said.

Efforts to get a response from the investigating officers on Sunday proved unsuccessful even after sending a copy of the letter to the police.

Gibbon said she scheduled a meeting with the Major Investigation Division team on Monday, November 25, 2019, exactly two years after her daughter’s body was found. However, she remains in a state of shock after, she claimed, an investigator asked why she was in Jamaica and what kind of meeting she wanted to have.

She has singled out two detectives on the case for unprofessional behaviour.

“Inspector (name redacted) proceeded to tell me I am too aggressive and I do not speak well of ‘them’ nor of Jamaica. So because you don’t like me, you don’t do your job? These are the people that represent your island? Really?” she asked Holness.

The American woman warns that she has no intention of abandoning her quest for justice.

Gibbon disclosed that she has hired an international investigator to assist in the case.

“Make no mistake, we are the victims. We are not the enemy,” she said.

Desiree Gibbon has been described by her mother as an advocate for racial equity and women’s rights, global warming, among other causes. The late model spent her childhood days in Jamaica, where her father was born.

“She wanted to change the world and make it a safe place for every living soul,” said Andrea.

janet.silvera@gleanerjm.com