Memories of Kyron too hard to bear - Clarendon family moves out after murder, mother succumbs to heartache
On January 13, 2013, Prince Roach's stepson was killed in a hail of bullets in the family yard in Long Gully, near Mount Clair, Clarendon, as he fetched water to cook dinner.
Kyron Duffus had just returned home from work sometime after 6 o'clock in the evening, as it was beginning to get dark, and went outside with a container to fill water from a drum.
"All of us inside, and mi hear 'boom, boom, boom, boom', and mi hear him bawl out 'Woiiie'; and mi rush outside and see him lie down on him back at the doorway, him head bleeding and the pan with the water dash weh," recalled Roach.
He said the very next day, he began disassembling the board house they lived in as the family was unable to bear the heartache and painful memories harboured by living there.
"One a mi gone and mi no waa stay deh and then something like that happen again," he bemoaned, stating that each time he would go to the back door, he would remember the body lying in the same spot with blood gushing from the head.
"Mi lef mi place weh mi buy with plantain, banana, coconut and other cash crops on the land and pack up, just to leave the memories behind.
"Mi nuh cry, enuh. Mi couldn't cry. Di way mi feel it, not a tears coulda come," he added.
Duffus died leaving three children who are now 13, six, and five years old.
Roach said he is deeply affected by the incident which left his two children and five stepchildren completely traumatised.
"Right now, yuh bring it up and mi nuh like remember bout it. Mi wife (common-law) tek di murder of her firs' child to heart and never recover. Instead she get better, she get worse. She fret on it and lose weight until she dead two years after," he said, adding that he has spent thousands of dollars on doctor bills and medication, including sleeping pills and blood pressure tablets. As if the one death was not enough, he said before he could recover financially, he had to give blood, sweat and tears to find money to bury his partner of 22 years.
Death leaves Prince Roach struggling to feed children
Struggling single father Prince Roach says just looking at his children and stepchildren, knowing he can barely find food to give them, triggers a pain he is unable to describe.
He said his stepson, Kyron Duffus, who was murdered in 2013, used to work with a firm "so he had a steady job and that, with my likkle juggling, used to make ends meet for all of us, but now it rough".
Roach said he and his children are now forced to find another place to live as the family home they relocated to three years ago has been put up for sale.
"Dem stick a 'For Sale' sign at the front of the house, looking buyer for it," he said in a rather distressed tone, his head hanging to the ground as he sat on a chair outside.
"Sometimes when mi consider pan dem ting ya, it mek mi heart race like mi out fi black out. Dem tell mi say mi nuffi consider over certain tings, mi fi tek it easy, but mi can't do that because mi affi worry how mi a go feed and school di pickney dem. Sometimes mi still hear di explosions in mi head a echo, and dem ting deh affect mi seriously."
Roach said counselling was offered to the family after the incident, but it never made much of a difference.
The broken man looked up and said he had to plead with his 13-year-old son not to get involved, as the teen told him that he pledged to himself that when he gets older, he is going to find those responsible for his big brother's death and exact revenge.
"Mi affi tell him 'no'. God will take care of it."