Bodies found in pit

KINGSTON, Jamaica – The decomposing bodies of two missing women were pulled from a septic pit in Taylor Land, Bull Bay, St. Andrew, Jamaica, Wednesday, bringing to 74 the number of females murdered since the start of the year.

The women, whose bodies had been shoved through the narrow entrance of the pit, have been identified as Candice Williams, a 20-year-old mother of one, and 22-year-old Phoebe Myrie of Market Road, Port Morant, St. Thomas. Ms. Myrie is the mother of a six-year-old girl and a four-year-old boy, reports the Jamaica Gleaner.

An on-the-scene post-mortem examination revealed the women died from multiple stab wounds.

A pillow, a knitted sheet, a teddy bear and an adult DVD movie case were pulled from the pit along with the scantily-clad bodies.

The women were found about 9:30 a.m. by a relative of Ms. Williams who had gone to the premises to search for her. Only 15, Ms. Williams’ relative got help from a young friend and an adult to force open a pit at the back of the two-room house. The small lid of the pit was unusually sealed with concrete, which prompted the boy to take a look inside.

Heavy-duty equipment had to be used to dig open the pit so police could get to the bodies.

“It is not normally closed so I thought something was wrong,” the boy told The Gleaner.

The women were last seen alive on Sunday, June 18, by Ms. Williams’ mother in Taylor Land.

Ms. Myrie, who stayed with her friend there, was due to start working at a restaurant in Half-Way Tree on Monday, June 19. However, when she failed to show for work, the employers telephoned to ask for her.

When repeated attempts by family members to reach Ms. Myrie via her cellular phone proved futile, they became suspicious and began contacting Ms. Myrie’s friends. The search took them to Williams’ family members.

Ms. Myrie’s mother, 53-year-old Hortense Wilson, said she knew something was wrong when she got a text message from her daughter’s cellular phone last Friday. The message read: “Hi mom, I am O.K. I am in MoBay (Montego Bay) working. I will call you later.”

Ms. Wilson said she tried calling Ms. Myrie immediately but did not get through. She said she lied in a text message, telling her daughter to come home because her young son was in the hospital. She got no response.

On Tuesday evening, family members of both girls contacted the Nine Miles police and filed missing person reports. They also went to the house in Taylor Land where they forced open the windows to the two-room house and gained entry. The girls were nowhere to be found, but Ms. Williams’ 15-year-old relative said he thought something was strange.

He said there were two beds in the house but that, on Tuesday night, he noticed one was without its mattress. He returned yesterday morning, along with his friend, to continue the search for his relative when he made the gruesome discovery.

The remains of a burnt mattress were also found at the back of the house.

Scores of onlookers gathered on the scene yesterday to get a glimpse of the bodies. They said they saw nothing and heard nothing.

The police meanwhile have not yet established a motive for the murders. They are also tight-lipped as to whether or not Ms. Williams’ boyfriend, who owned the premises where the bodies were found, is a suspect.

“The police are carrying out their investigations but everyone is a suspect at this point,” said Sergeant Troy Anderson, Metro Officer at the Constabulary Communications Network.

Last year 188 women were murdered in Jamaica, an increase from 141 the previous year.

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