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Elderly woman found dead; police also suspect rape

Elderly woman found dead; police also suspect rape

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Residents of Fitz Hughes and the surrounding areas are shocked and outraged at last weekend’s apparent rape and killing of an elderly widow, Marion John.{{more}}

John lived alone in her modest two bedroom wall house in the east Cacartha area, close to VINLEC’s Richmond hydro plant.

John’s body was discovered by neighbours around 7:30 am last Sunday, after she was not seen cleaning her yard, as she usually does, around 6:00 am. Evril Lawrence told SEARCHLIGHT that she was about to start cleaning her own yard when she noticed that John was not around.

Lawrence recalled that the day before, John had given her a potato and some tannias in exchange for some dasheen bush, which she was to have collected from Lawrence that morning, as she was planning to make callaloo.

Lawrence said she went to John’s house and called, but to no avail. Lawrence said that she noticed that the door which opens into the kitchen was ajar, so she went up and called out, but still got no answer.

Lawrence said that she looked into John’s bedroom and noticed that the sheet had been removed from the bed. She said she didn’t enter the bedroom to have a good look, since after getting no answer, she thought that John may have gone to the police station in Chateaubelair to report a break-in.

Lawrence said that after about 15 minutes, her daughter Shamanda and two other neighbours went back to the house and found John dead and wrapped in a sheet.

Marion John was 78 years old, according to Debra Dyer, a community nurse and census data collector.

“When I was interviewing her, she kept telling me that she is the only girl in her family alive, as one of her brothers had recently passed,” Dyer said.

“She was so jovial and energetic, it’s such a shame how they end her life just so,” an outraged Dyer said.

Also at the scene was Patel Matthews, Parliamentary Representative for North Leeward who told SEARCHLIGHT that the crime is one of the most heinous he could imagine.

“I want to commend the police for the speedy work in apprehending a suspect,” Matthews said, “and the punishment should fit the crime,” he added.

SEARCHLIGHT caught up yesterday with John’s son Anthony “Tony” Robertson, a water craft operator and businessman, who lives mostly in St Martens.

A grieving Tony said when he was told of his mother’s demise, he lost all feelings in his body, “It’s like I wanted to die,” he said. Tony recalled speaking to his mother for the last time on September 1, around 9:00 pm before he left for the E.T. Joshua Airport to catch his midnight flight to St Martens.

“My mother was a good woman who never hurt anyone,” Tony said.

“She would give her heart away, I send her snacks that she can sell and keep occupied, but I know she would give away and undersell most of it. How could someone do this to someone like that?” Tony lamented.

Robertson said now that his mother was so brutally murdered, he will not be visiting so often, as the incident has erased every good memory he had of his hometown. He also said that he would like to express thanks to his neighbours and members of the community for aiding the police in apprehending a suspect. John’s three other sons were unavailable for comment.

A police report said that John’s body was discovered by neighbours and she appeared to be sexually molested.

The report also said that Delroy Lett, 31, a Labourer of Fitz Hughes was assisting police with their investigations.

Villagers told SEARCHLIGHT that Lett, John’s next door neighbour, was taken into custody last Sunday around 12:00 noon after neighbours noticed that he kept indoors despite all the activity that was taking place next door. (TY)

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