Adrian Frater, News Editor
While sharing the grief of the families of the two boys whose bodies were fished from the Martha Brae River, in Trelawny, last Thursday, the Jamaica Council of Churches (JCC) has condemned the spin-off violence, which led to a mob murder.
"It is our prayer that they (the families) will experience the sustaining presence of God's grace through this difficult period," said JCC head, Reverend Gary Harriott, in reacting to the boys' death.
"The Council appeals to the authorities to do all that is humanly possible in investigating this case; to reassure the family, and to bring closure."
Since the bodies of 10-year-old Alex Brown and seven-year-old Javani Brown were retrieved from the Martha Brae River, five days after they went missing from their home in Zion, also in Trelawny, speculations have been rife that they were the victims of foul play.
On Monday, an angry mob, believed to be made up of residents from Zion, stormed the home of a man who they claimed had something to do with the boys' death. The man was not found, but his stepfather, 43-year-old Donovan Hazley was chopped to death, a female relative seriously injured; and their house set on fire.
That vicious mob attack has earned the wrath of the JCC, which described it as, "heinous and barbarous". As a consequence, the church group wants the police to investigate that matter as well with a view of arresting and charging those involved.
"It is unbelievable that a group of persons could carry out such a heinous and barbarous act on our citizens based on their association with a suspect," said Harriott. "It begs the question, what would have happened if more persons were in that house? There is absolutely no justification for such action and the JCC condemns such behaviour."
However, while the JCC is urging the authorities to investigate the death of the two boys, at least one relative is still adamant that foul play was involved, arguing that the boys were sexually molested and then tossed into the river.
"I saw the bodies and I believe there were signs to suggest they were molested," said the relative, who asked not to be identified. "Drowning might have been the cause of death but they could have been molested first and then thrown into the river."