Prime Minister Andrew Holness has condemned the gruesome murder of 14-year-old Yetanya Francis of Arnett Gardens, Kingston.
The body of the teenage girl, otherwise called ‘Princess’, a student of Kingston Technical High School, was found on Friday morning (August 24) after she went missing at around 9:00PM on Thursday night.
Her mother, Latoya Riley, said that she left their home on 12th Street in the south St Andrew community to purchase food but never returned. That set off an alarm, and residents began searching for the girl.
The teen’s charred remains were found in an open lot at the Inner-city for Christ Ministry, metres from her home. Her killer(s) allegedly raped her, chopped her in the head, and then set her lifeless body on fire.
Yetanya’s mother said she was awakened by a vision of her daughter on Thursday night and then noticed the smell of something burning. But she had no idea it was her daughter.
“Last night, I was inside dozing off, and is like I just saw the little girl (Yetanya) come in front of me, and I jump up. Is when I jump up now I smell something burning, and I ask, ‘Who could a burn dog dem hours here?’ I never know that is my pickney a burn,” sobbed Riley.
“Me never know this would come at my foot. I see them things here on Facebook and news. I never know this would come at my foot. I call her phone. It rang, and then it stop ringing about after 10 p.m. From she leave out, she don’t return,” said the mother, who collapsed upon discovery of her daughter’s body.
“Dem rape her and burn her like a dog. But Father God, you see and know you are going to answer my prayer,” she said, bursting into a fresh bout of tears.
The incident left the entire community in mourning as residents bemoaned a string of rapes and murders between 10th and 12th streets in the community in recent months.
Prime Minister Andre Holness expressed outrage at the incident and expressed that “the thugs who murdered 14-year-old Yetanya Francis have no place in the Jamaican society we are seeking to create.”
He said the police have assured him that no stone will be left unturned to find the heartless perpetrators.
“I have spoken to the minister of national security and the commissioner of police. They both emphasised their resolve to ensure that the perpetrator or perpetrators are brought to justice. No society can survive the constant killing of its children, and we all must stand united against these criminals,” said the prime minister.
Prime Minister Holness appealed to anyone with information on the killing to report it to the police or to call Crime Stop at 311.
Roughly a year ago, Holness visited the same community in response to the likewise callous killing of another teenage girl, which like present, drew widespread condemnation from across the society.
Opposition Leader Dr. Peter Phillips visited the family of 14 year old Yetanya Francis to offer support and condolences. He was accompanied by Member of Parliament Mark Golding.
Dr. Phillips described the girls killing as a new level of brutality. The Opposition Leader said the community needs better lighting and more police patrols.
He urged residents who have information to come forward.
Residents described the child as bright, fun-loving, and eager to celebrate her birthday next month.
Some persons said that they heard shouts of rape and for help coming from the open lot but said that the shouts quickly dissipated in the darkness of 12th Street, which they claimed has been without street lights for many months.
Such reports angered one pastor from the church near where Francis’ body was found, who lambasted residents for not investigating the screams.
This latest incident follows the rape of an eight-year-old girl two weeks ago in the neighbouring Trench Town community.