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6-year-old ‘Buddy’ found dead in Fenton mountains

6-year-old ‘Buddy’ found dead in Fenton mountains

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A family of Welcome, a small remote village nestled in the interior of St.Vincent, is trying to unravel the mystery and bizarreness that surrounds the death of a six-year-old family member.

On Saturday, July 5, 2008, the partly decomposed body of Junior ‘Buddy’ Simon was discovered in the Fenton Mountains by his father Curtis Smart and a search party from the community – five days after he went missing.{{more}}

The nightmare all started on Tuesday,

July 1, 2008, when Buddy, a Grade K student of the Gomea Methodist School and five of his friends, ages 12-17, were seen heading towards the Fenton Mountains. The lad’s school had been dismissed at midday, and with his guardian,grandmother Sylvia Charles in the hospital, it is believed that he used the opportunity to go fishing with his friends.

A grieving Ruthlyn Smart, Buddy’s aunt, told SEARCHLIGHT she discovered her nephew was missing shortly after she arrived at home from work. She was told by her 11-year-old niece at approximately 6:45 p.m that Buddy had not come home from school.

“I found that to be very strange,” said Smart, who claimed that she started inquiring about Buddy’s whereabouts and was told by a “little boy” that Buddy went to the Fenton Mountains with some bigger boys.

“I went straight to the boys” homes and asked if Buddy went to the mountain with them and they said yes. I asked where is he and they said they don’t know. I said all you could go to the mountain together and how come you all ain’t see him.

“They claimed that when they were ready to come down they didn’t see him,” said Smart, noting that she and other friends from the neighbourhood conducted a search throughout the community that same night.

After Buddy was not found, Smart said she called the police. She related that the police came at approximately midnight and started their search as early as 6 a.m. the following day.

For two days an extensive search was carried out in the Fenton Mountains by officers of the local constabulary and members of the Welcome community, but to no avail. On Friday, July 4, 2008, they took the search all the way to Green Hill, but Buddy was not to be found.

Buddy’s father Curtis Smart, who lives at La Croix, said he received the news that his only son was missing on the evening of Friday, July 4, 2008. He pointed out that he headed straight to his mother’s home at Welcome.

On Saturday, July 5, 2008, Curtis led a search party back to the Fenton Mountains where Buddy is claimed to have gone fishing with his friends.

The father’s worst fear came to life when Buddy’s lifeless body, attired in his blue school shirt and khaki pants, was found in a shallow stream between two stones. It is claimed that that same area was searched previously but no trace of Buddy had been found.

“If he is murdered I think we deserve justice,” Ruthlyn told SEARCHLIGHT.

Buddy’s grandmother Sylvia Charles, who was released from the hospital on the same day Buddy went missing, moaned: “I feel it to my heart. I can’t even talk. He didn’t deserve that kind of death.”

Almost immediately after his death, the village was awash with rumours – suspicions of foul play, allegations of murder, even talk of a cover-up.

The grieving family is searching desperately for answers. Was Buddy’s death a murder, an accident or something in between?

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