JAMAICA is again mourning another underage girl who has been found dead.
The child, Jameila Johnson, also known as ‘Zella’ — a 12-year-old student of the Harewood Primary School in St Catherine — was found dead in bushes close to a river near her home in Williamsfield, near Riversdale in the parish, yesterday.
There were unconfirmed reports yesterday that the child was pregnant.
According to the Ministry of Education, the child’s parents reported that she went missing Tuesday night after she asked her grandmother for toilet paper and proceeded to the outdoor pit latrine.
Yesterday, a group of angry residents, after learning about the little girl’s death, went to her family’s home and set the house on fire. The child’s mother and grandmother were also attacked by the mob and had to be escorted from the community by the police.
The group claimed that it was neglect by the family that led to the child’s death.
Because of the attack reporters did not get a chance to speak to Jameila’s family members.
Ronald Thwaites, the education minister, yesterday expressed sympathies to the bereaved family. He said guidance counsellors from the ministry’s regional office will provide grief and trauma sessions to the affected students and staff at Harewood Primary.
Gregory Mair, the MP for North East St Catherine — where Harewood is located — said yesterday that he was shocked and saddened by the news of Jamilia death.
The MP said that since Jamilia disappeared Tuesday night residents started searching for her, only to stumble on her nude body yesterday morning.
Mair asked residents to give their full support to the police “so they can carry out a thorough investigation and bring the culprit of this heinous crime to justice”.
The MP said he was in touch with the Office of the Children’s Advocate and Youth Minister Lisa Hanna on the matter.
Two underage girls have, since January, suffered similar fates.
Santoya Campbell, a 14-year-old Westmoreland girl, went missing on January 26 and her body was found, two days later, stuffed in garbage bags under a bridge.
According to grief-stricken relatives, Santoya, who was a grade eight student of Frome Technical High, did not reach school after leaving her home early the morning she went missing. Following a post-mortem it was found out that Santoya was pregnant.
Similarly, another 14-year-old girl, identified as Kayalicia Simpson of St Thomas, was hacked to death and her mutilated body dumped metres from her house on March 3. Police reported that about 5:00 am that day, the grade eight student went outside her house as she prepared for school. About half-an-hour later her body was found lying face down in bushes close to the one-room wooden structure in which she lived.
Like Santoya, a post-mortem report revealed that Kayalicia was pregnant.
And last week three 14-year-old Clarendon boys were held up at gunpoint and shot dead by criminals execution-style.