Orantes Moore, Gleaner Writer
HOPEWELL, St Mary:
THE FAMILY and friends of a woman who was murdered earlier this week during a robbery at her home in St Mary have expressed shock and grief at the killing.
According to her common-law husband, Derrick Francis, who witnessed the murder, Cynthia D'Avanzo, a 79-year-old businesswoman from the district of Hopewell, was stabbed in the neck after two armed and masked men entered the couple's home shortly before 9 p.m. on Tuesday.
Francis, 52, told The Gleaner: "I called Cynthia just before I came home, and she said she had locked the main door and grille, so I should use the other door to come in.
"When I arrived, she started opening the main grille for me. I asked why she had changed her mind, but Cynthia didn't answer. I didn't realise she was being held at gunpoint.
"When I stepped into the house, I saw two men and they told me to kneel down, but Cynthia ran. One of them ran after her and cut her neck, but I didn't see where. He ran off, the other one chased after him, and then I heard more gunshots as they were going up the road."
A close friend of the family, who gave his name as Charles, said he could not understand why anyone would murder D'Avanzo. He told The Gleaner: "She was a decent woman and well-respected all over this area.
"She was very loving and kind, and would give you her last. People could come to her any time; she would prefer to give all she had and leave nothing for herself.
"She was a fun person who would joke, laugh and drink a little white rum now and then and feel nice. But she never troubled anybody; she wasn't the type of person to go on the road and curse, go on bad or embarrass anybody.
"We are confused and unsure of the reason or cause. Because I can't think of why anybody would want to harm her and do this wickedness; it grieves my heart."
He added: "I can tell you one thing: this is not the end. The perpetrator or criminal who did this will get what is coming to them."