‘My baby on ice’

IT was neither a merry Christmas nor a happy start to the new year for Latoya Henry, who is continuing to mourn her son who died from stab wounds on December 19, nine days after he celebrated his 22nd birthday.

The distress was evident on Henry’s face as she shared the painful story with the Jamaica Observer during the National Day of Prayer held at the National Arena in St Andrew on Wednesday, which she attended in hope of finding solace for her grief.

Henry, who lives in James Mountain, Sligoville, St Catherine, said her son Kemar Kenyon, who owned a farm, would often share the work with a male family member, but a disagreement ensued late last year, as the family member’s goat would occasionally eat the crops on his land.

“His [family member] goat always going on my son farm and my son always keeps talking to him about it, as the goat would always be eating down the stuff and it’s as if he was telling my son it wasn’t his goat and it was his uncle’s goat, but my son knows it was his goat,” said Henry.

“So it caused a little vibes between them and my son cut him off. Dem neva cuss nor quarrel, but for two months mi son did stop deal wid him,” she added.

Henry told the Observer that on December 19 she was at work when she got a call about 10:00 am from her sister with the news.

According to reports she received, her son was at a shop in the community when he was attacked by his family member. He was taken to Spanish Town Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

“Him say him a go wash and then go on the farm. Mi son go buy bleach at the shop when his family member come in there. His family member kept asking my son where is his cutlass and him a say ‘Mi nuh have no cutlass fi you, youth’ and mi hear say him come back with him knife push under him shirt but some people saw him coming with the knife at Kemar, so people were trying to hold him off,” said Henry.

“Dem say him have him knife just a swing suh. They were saying too, it’s as if him put garlic on the knife so when Kemar get the cut he didn’t know. Him did cut out the whole of him belly, so by time him find out, him a stagger,” Henry added.

The grieving mother said that by the time Kemar was taken to the hospital, the doctor reported that his blood pressure was low and his heart rate was slowing down.

“Dem rush him go [operating] theatre and a try help him but him neva make it. When mi get the call from mi sister mi hear she a cry and mi hear she say something bout Kemar but mi neva hear properly cause mi turn idiot, mi just say, ‘Lord Jesus, a weh this now’. My co-worker took the phone and once mi see her face, mi know a neva nothing good,” Henry said before recounting a dream she had that morning about her cousin who had died six months ago.

“Mi dream see mi cousin Pete weh dead and another one weh live at Cayman who told mi in the dream fi call Pete and mi a tell Pete mi a come and him nah pay mi no mind, but mi wake wid a terrible headache. Neva know say it woulda be mi baby,” said Henry.

Reminiscing about the precious moments she shared with her son, Henry said he was a humble, hard-working and caring young man who enjoyed cooking.

“For Christmas Day mi did even a plan wid him say wi a go boil soup because him can cook. Even the Sunday night before he was killed, mi season up the meat and him go work and mi wait until him come home fi cook and him say, ‘You really wait pon mi till mi come from work fi mi cook’,” added Henry as she noted that he eventually prepared the meal and they had dinner together that evening.

“A just the grace a God why mi deh ya suh. Him a mi everything. If mi work clothes wah wash, him do it fi mi , wipe off me working shoes, him a do everything fi mi. He is very helpful in the community too,” she said with with her arms outstretched in an apparent sign of hopelessness.

She said that she has been making checks with the Spanish Town police, as the family member accused of killing her son has not been seen since the incident.

“All now police nuh catch him, he is still on the run, all now. Mi hopeless, the bwoy on the run and my baby on ice. From him dead mi nuh eat a good plate a food; that cyaan fill this empty void. Mi haffi seek counselling,” said Henry.

“Mi waan dem find the young man. The hottest thing is that mi son put his name down to baptise three weeks before he died,” added the grieving mother.

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