Tue | Jun 2, 2020

Family struggles to come to terms with daughter’s death

Published:Thursday | May 14, 2015 | 12:00 AMShanique Samuels, Gleaner Writer
The late Karen Rainford, gone too soon.
The children visited their mother’s grave on Mother’s Day.
Rainford's children: (from left) Ijayne, Shamali, Jowayne and Zhere, and her mother Arlene Campbell.

The lives of the four children left behind by Karen Rainford changed forever the morning she was murdered. All four children were under the age of 12 at the time of their mother's death. Rainford, who was 32 years old at the time, was beheaded allegedly by her children's father some time around 2:30 a.m. on February 16, last year, while at home in Mountain View, Kingston.

One year and three months later, her relatives, including her mother and the children, are still bitter mainly because the man accused of killing her has still not been found and made to face the penalties for his actions. Rainford's aunt, Claudette Campbell, said the family has still not recovered from the tragedy.

"We need justice. Dat man need fi bring to justice cause him wrong fi kill mi niece. All now none a we as family no hear back from the police dem. Look how long now, one year and couple months since we bury her and still nothing," said Campbell.


Rainford's mother, Arlene Campbell, has been the caregiver for her grandchildren ever since, and sometimes she finds it difficult to look after them adequately.

"It has been up and down. Sometimes it's a little bit tight," she said, lamenting that her part-time job doesn't pay enough to consistently maintain four young children.

Arlene Campbell said she, too, is still distraught and upset at the callous manner in which her daughter was taken, especially in the presence of her children.

"All now the killer still out deh. Him still a walk a road an nyam food and my daughter dead and gone. From we bury her last year, all now none of he police that were investigating the case come and say anything to us."

She bemoaned the fact that the family is still mourning her death and they need closure. She says the children are still reeling from the incident and is appealing for counselling for them to help them to get through this stage of their grieving.

Claudette Campbell, on the other hand, said she is concerned about the children's well-being.

"We need a proper house fi them so that my sister can provide a decent living space for them, especially for the little girl. She is growing up and she needs her space.

"Yuh see the likkle girl, she still have dah feelings deh from her mother. She still have that down feeling from her mother dead. Sometimes she just shut down and we can't get nutten from her; she not talking. She no say how she feel and we need her fi open up, so we really need some counselling fi dem.

"The boys also need their own facility, so we are appealing to the powers that be to assist us," she pleaded.

specialised counselling

Ijayne Barrett, now 12 years old, is the eldest child and only girl. She didn't take the GSAT exams this year, but will be moving on to the Central High School under a special arrangement through the James & Friends Education Programme.

Six-year-old Shamali and 10-year-old Jowayne Barrett are both students at the May Pen Primary School in grades one and four, respectively. Both their class teachers recommend specialised counselling for them noting that they are well-behaved students, but they are short-tempered and tend to blow up easily when provoked by classmates.

Zhere, who is now four years old, is currently enrolled at the Effortville Basic school, where he is receiving counselling from the principal.

All four children were taken into the James and Friends Education Programme shortly after their mother died, as, according to their grandmother, none of the promises made to her to assist with the children materialised.