Missing teen is dead - INDECOM
Livern Barrett, Gleaner Writer
THE INDEPENDENT Commission of Investigations (INDECOM) has revealed that it is now treating missing Tivoli Gardens teenager Dale Davis as one of the persons killed during the 2010 police-military operations in the west Kingston community.
An attorney for INDECOM told the West Kingston Commission of Enquiry yesterday that the classification of Davis' status was changed after tests conducted at the Government Forensic Laboratory found that his mother, Dawn Brown, was a 98.8 per cent match with one of the bodies recovered from the operations.
2011 press release
The clarification by INDECOM's attorney Yanique Taylor came after Linton Gordon, one of the attorneys for the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF), alerted the commission to a press statement released by the oversight body in 2011 asserting that Davis was alive and did not wish to be located.
The statement claimed also that investigations revealed that the former Tivoli Gardens High School student had been seen in communities in Kingston, St Ann, and Trelawny and that Davis was living on the street.
Gordon conceded that this information might have come as a surprise to the attorneys representing INDECOM.
"They would not have sent the DNA report alone, but they would have sent this as well so that a complete balance and full disclosure would have been made," Gordon argued.
"Only INDECOM can explain the lack of disclosure in this regard," he continued, noting that this would have been included in his cross-examination of Brown.
Taylor, in her response to Gordon, acknowledged that at the time of the press statement, INDECOM was pursing a missing person probe but said that changed after the results of the DNA tests were revealed.
"I cannot see how a press conference, which was held some three years ago, where we revealed information received from persons, should trump a scientific test," she noted.
Brown testified on Thursday that she last saw Davis on May 22, 2010, when she took him to the Tivoli Gardens' home where he lived with another family member.
She said that family member told her the teen was taken from the house by soldiers during the operations and had not been seen or heard from since.
Yesterday, the commission also heard from another witness, Paulette Wellington, who testified that her son, Sheldon, was taken away by soldiers days after the operations ended.
Wellington claimed that after a frantic search, she was informed that Sheldon was killed by soldiers after he tried to disarm one of them. She said she later identified his body at Madden's Funeral Home.
However, her testimony was placed on hold after it was discovered that the incident was before the Special Coroner's Court.
After 10 days of hearing and 23 witnesses, the enquiry will break until February 9, next year.