Mandeville primary, family mourn death of 10-y-o student
Dave Lindo, Gleaner Writer
JOVIAL FUN-loving, caring, were the words used to describe 10-year-old Damain Findlay who was found dead in a tank in Greenvale Housing Scheme in Manchester, Sunday morning, after being missing from home the evening before.
A grade five student at Mandeville Primary and Junior High, Damain's classmates and teacher, Sharon Thomas, were distraught when The Gleaner visited the school Monday afternoon.
The students eyes were filled with tears, many laid their heads on their desk and cried openly. A rose was placed at the corner of the desk where Damain sat with his good friend Sabrina Artwell who also hails from Greenvale.
In describing him, Sabrina said, "Damain is a true friend. Any time we are at home, by the time I turn my back it's him come to look for me. He likes to play, he would hit me and run and give me jokes, he's that kind of friend. He always talks about his rabbit, I have a rabbit the same colour as his, white with pink eyes."
His teacher was equally saddened by the loss of her student. "He was a very quiet student," Thomas said. He was very helpful, always want to do something, always, he sat just in front of my table and if I had an errand to run, he would know."
Thomas said Damain's last day at school, last Friday was a happy one. "It was a moment for all of us to remember," she said. "We had a little class party, so they sang, did their talent pieces. He sat and he observed, he left in a happy mood, all the children did."
In the community of Scotts Town, Greenvale where he lived with his mother Tenesha Beckford and his two brothers and two sisters, it was another case of sadness.
Damain's mother was away at the Mandeville Regional Hospital after having to seek treatment and counselling.
His grandmother Lorna Francis who lived next door was in a state of denial, unable to come to grips with the loss of her grandson.
Did not come home
"We knew something was wrong when he didn't come home to bathe the Saturday afternoon," Francis said. When it got dark, we went to the game shop down the road to see if he was there, and he wasn't. We asked two of his friends if they saw him and they said no, the last time they saw him was by a plaza up the road at 2 o'clock that day."
The family reported Damain as missing at the Mandeville police station minutes after 11:30 that night. "They told us it was too dark to search, they called us 4 a.m. the next morning to find out if he had returned," Francis said.
The next morning after the family and members of the community gathered and discussed the whereabouts of Damain, his two friends admitted that he had fallen in a tank 3 p.m. on Saturday.
The police are continuing their investigations as to whether Damain died as a result of drowning or if any foul play is involved.