Custos encourages citizens to seek professional help

MANDEVILLE, Manchester — Custos of Manchester Garfield Green is appealing to citizens to seek professional help to avoid domestic disputes escalating to violence following Tuesday’s suspected murder-suicide involving a Mandeville couple.

“Let us see how we can talk about things and just settle them. Let us see how we can deal with things in an amicable way and sometimes we refuse to seek help. Let us ask for help no matter what. No matter the circumstances, the situation, no matter how old we are. There are opportunities there for all of us to get help,” he told the Jamaica Observer on Wednesday.

“Find someone who we can speak to in confidence, but I would say seek help from people who can [actually] help, not just anybody. Seek help from people who you can have the confidence in, who will keep your business a secret, who will guide you properly,” he added.

Keith and Stephanie Ellis, both in their 40s, were found dead at their home on Bonnitto Crescent in Mandeville mid-afternoon Tuesday after a missing person’s report was filed with the police.

The wife, a bank employee, was found with a wound to her forehead inside the house and the husband, otherwise called “Ricky” a former taxi operator, was found hanging from a scaffold at the back of the property. A police source said a crowbar, believed to be the murder weapon, was found at the scene.

A senior police source said officers went to the couple’s house where they found the couple dead.

Relatives told the Observer the couple was going through a divorce.

Green, who in previous years set up a domestic violence and suicide prevention helpline, condemned the murder-suicide.

“…Whatever it is, it is not worth taking someone’s life and it must be because of something that went wrong maybe out of rage, out of anger,” he said.

In the meantime, Green added that the discovery of 52-year-old Althea Rowe and her son 35-year-old Cleon Palmer, with what appeared to be gunshot wounds at a house in Providence district (near Holmwood Technical High School) on Tuesday is also disturbing.

“We don’t know the circumstances. A lot of speculations are going around. Speculations are rife and people are just not sure, but again it came down to two lives being lost,” he said.

Police believe Palmer’s alleged criminal lifestyle was a factor in his demise and the killing of his mother. Investigators theorise that the two were killed on New Year’s Eve.

Relatives told the Observer that they became concerned after multiple attempts to contact Rowe and Palmer were unsuccessful.

A police source said shortly after 11:00 am a relative went to the house in Providence and found the bodies.

The Observer was told that Rowe, who worked at a bar in the Corporate Area, was visiting her son at the time of the incident.

Green is encouraging citizens to remain on the right path.

“The guy [Palmer] was wanted by the police, again people are speculating around that too. They said the mother might have been at the wrong place at the wrong time, but the fact is two lives were taken,” he said.

“We have to find ways in which we can stop it. I want to encourage people to get involved in the right things. Walk away from the wrong things in life. Learn from the experiences of others. Others have fallen along the way,” he said.

Green added that parents should inform the authorities about illegal activities their children are involved in.

“Parents, if you are aware of your children being involved in anything that is unbecoming report them as well, it might be difficult for you to do so, but for your sake and for their sake and the sake of others, report them and get help for them, if we don’t we will regret the outcome in the end,” he said.

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