Wed | Dec 6, 2023

Teen suspected of committing suicide over SIM card worries

Published:Friday | July 29, 2022 | 12:06 AMAndre Williams/Gleaner Writer
The house where 15-year-old Chad Lester was found hanging on July 25.
The house where 15-year-old Chad Lester was found hanging on July 25.

A dispute over a cell phone SIM card is the theory being posited by relatives of 15-year-old Chad Lester as the trigger behind the suspected suicide of the usually quiet teen in Brandon Hill, St Andrew.

According to relatives who The Gleaner spoke to on Wednesday, they saw no signs leading up to late Monday, when Lester was found hanging by a sheet from the roof of his home.

Malachi Quarrell, Lester’s grand uncle, told The Gleaner that he is still in disbelief as the youngster was a disciplined child who showed no signs of depression.

“Mi see him walk pass mi Sunday evening and a go a di shop. Him say, ‘Uncle Mal, wah gwan? Yu nuh cook’? And mi and him deh here a reason til him lef. It was to my surprise when my brother call me yesterday morning and say him hear say one a Merilita boy dem kill himself,” Quarrell told The Gleaner.

He said he cried on receiving confirmation, after he went to their house to find out what transpired.

When he arrived at the location by daylight Tuesday, he saw a crowd converged, and reality struck.

He spoke to Lester’s mother who told him what she described as a minor scolding over the SIM card.

“She say, ‘Uncle Mal, you know say Chad have me phone and a don’t know what him a do and the phone chip lock down’. She say to him, ‘Chad mi want me phone to use’. She say she went out on the road and about half hour after she come back, she go see him hang up ina the house top,” Quarrell said.

He was of the view, based on what he was told, that there was no quarrel but that Lester’s mother may have spoken harshly to him.

“I feel him did have a problem bigger than di phone thing ... I feel him problem was bigger than a phone chip but him was not talking. That is my opinion because a chip don’t even cost $600,” Quarrell told The Gleaner.

With tears in his eyes, he said it was a rough time for the family.

The community of Brandon Hill is in despair as residents try to fathom what went wrong.

The Gleaner tried unsuccessfully to locate Lester’s mother. Several calls to her cell phone went straight to voicemail recording, which indicated that the SIM card, the epicentre of the dispute, was still not functional up to Wednesday morning.

A relative who lives close to the deceased said he spoke to the teen on Monday and was to have further dialogue with him later that same day.

He saw Lester hanging from the roof and was overcome with emotions.

“Just like if you go there and see a loved one is the same way I felt. We did not see this coming. I don’t live here but any time I visit, I never hear anything bad bout him,” the relative said.

There have been reports of a suicide note. However, the grand uncle said he is unaware of a note being left at the scene.

“Everybody love him, everybody talk bout Chad. Him mannerable because how him mother grow him, so everybody love dem. Him nuh ina no crew. Chad surprise me,” Quarrell said.

The family has had to be checking on his mother because she is reportedly not taking the news well.

The Stony Hill police are investigating. They are treating the incident as a case of suspected suicide.