Body of returned resident found in shallow grave

BY KIMONE FRANCIS
Observer staff reporter
francisk@jamaicaobserver.com

Wednesday, December 05, 2018

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FIVE months after the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) announced that it would roll out “additional security systems” to protect returning residents, the body of 43-year-old Karen Cleary-Brown was discovered with stab wounds in a shallow grave in Boscobel, St Mary, on Monday.

Cleary-Brown had reportedly returned to the island — after spending close to 30 years in England — to build her dream home in the parish when she met her demise.

Detectives assigned to the St Mary Police Division yesterday said that one man has been arrested in relation to the death of the beautician of a Pentonville Road address in north London.

The detectives, in a news release issued to the media, said that inconsistencies were detected in a missing person report filed for Cleary-Brown by the now suspect, causing the police to “immediately widen and intensify their investigation”.

The release said that this led them to a search at Cleary-Brown's home in Boscobel, where her decomposing body was found about 5:30 pm.

The scene was processed and the body removed to the morgue, the release said, while the suspect was taken into custody. However, his identity is being withheld pending further investigations.

Cleary-Brown's partner, 56-year-old Andy Kane who is currently on the island, wrote in a Facebook post that he spent most of Sunday with the police piecing together the investigation.

“Hi, it's now early evening here (Jamaica) and I've spent most of the day with the local police who are doing a great job. I think tomorrow (Monday) will be a very difficult day as they will be searching the property and they have warned me to prepare for the worst news. Breaking my heart to write this post but so many people want to know what's happening. Please keep Karen Cleary in your prayers. Thanks,” Kane wrote in a December 2 post on his Facebook page.

On Monday, Kane wrote that it “pains” him to inform friends that Cleary-Brown's body was “recovered”.

“...Karen has now gone to a better place. Karen has been that shining star in my world for over 13 years, that world has now turned very dark indeed. Please, before you go to your bed tonight, say a [prayer] for her to whatever God you pray to and also make sure you tell your loved ones how much they mean to you while you still have the chance. Thank you for all the love, concern and genuine offers of support that you have posted over the past few days. It has truly been appreciated,” Kane said, noting that detectives assigned to the case were “fantastic”.

Cleary-Brown was alleged to have gone to Portmore shortly before she was reported missing.

A message posted on her Facebook page on November 28 said that she left home at 9:00 pm on the 25th with two friends in a black SUV. However, Kane believes that this was not the case.

In April, the Jamaica Observer reported that the body of 63-year-old Delroy Walker was found with multiple stab wounds at the house he purchased at Rio Nuevo Resort in Tower Isle, St Mary.

Police told the Observer then that a resident noticed a trail of blood leading from the house about 9:15 am on April 19 and raised an alarm. Walker had returned to the country from London eight months prior and his wife was expected to join him in a matter of weeks.

Three months later, the brazen murder of a British couple sent shock waves throughout the quiet farming community of Mount Pleasant in Portland, leaving some to speculate about the motive for the killings.

Returnees Florence and Halford Anderson were both found dead on the morning of June 22 Residents discovered Halford's body near Mount Pleasant Primary School under a tree and Florence's in their fire-bombed home with gunshot wounds to the upper body.

The couple, who was married for more than 50 years and who had just returned to the island, was building their retirement home.

The murders caused the JCF to issue a statement outlining steps to be taken to protect returnees. The JCF said that some of the measures which were to be taken would include the establishment of a point of contact for the Diaspora to address specific concerns about cases.

The JCF said that consideration was being given to the establishment of a service to conduct background checks, on request, of people who returnees wish to employ.

A liaison officer would also be appointed, the JCF said, in each police division to monitor and provide returnees with timely feedback on policing matters. A proposal for regular meetings to be held at the divisional level to enhance the sharing of important information was put forward.

The police said this was to be augmented with a number of investigative strategies that will pay particular attention to cases involving returnees.

“Our focus on the safety and protection of our returning residents is unequivocal. We take all reported incidents of crimes against them seriously and will further our work with our partners in government and non-government organisations to ensure communities are safe spaces for all who live, work or visit,” Deputy Commissioner of Police in charge of Crime Selvin Hay said at the time.

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