Mystery Murders

People of Port Royal say something fishy is going on along main road, Fort Rocky

BY SHARLENE HENDRICKS
Staff reporter
hendrickss@jamaicaobserver.com

Sunday, November 04, 2018

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The people of Port Royal are on edge, what with the mystery surrounding recent murders and corpses found along the ghostly roadway leading to the popular seafood spot and heritage town.

Residents of the quaint community and the police confirm that in the last month alone, two bodies were found — one at a popular colonial ruin, Fort Rocky, and another along the roadway.

There were other unconfirmed reports that more murders have been committed in the area and that at least three women were raped. One of the men killed was said to have had a piece of stick up his anus.

When the Jamaica Observer visited the seacoast town, once controlled by pirates, on Thursday, residents, shopkeepers and business owners were languidly going about their business, most commenting that they knew nothing about the bodies found, while others lamented a lack of street lights along the lonely roadway and a need for more police patrols.

Other residents who were reluctant to speak on record voiced concerns that in recent months, criminal outsiders had resumed suspicious activities along the roadway, including the destruction of street lights and the dumping of bodies.

Only recently, Minister of Gender, Entertainment, Culture and Sport Olivia “Babsy” Grange said that there were plans afoot to make Port Royal an entertainment zone. But with the stigma of strange criminal occurrences, there may be those who are questioning the wisdom of going that route at this time.

One resident who has been living in the community for 40 years and who identified himself as Roy Brown reported that around the time of the Port Royal Seafood Festival last month, a decaying body was found in Fort Rocky, and another body found along the road.

“Them find a decomposed body in a Rocky (Fort Rocky) the morning prior to the festival, because them say that person was not at the festival. And again last month them find a body on the road,” Brown said.

Business operator Oran Hall explained that “them find a body in a car with a shot in the head. The body found in the car was before the body was found at Fort Rocky,” Hall explained.

Reports last month are that the body of businessman Jean Pierre Rhone was also found along the Port Royal main road last month. Checks with the Port Royal Police confirmed that two bodies were found in October along the lonely corridor which connects the sleepy town to the city. The exact dates of when the bodies were discovered and their identities were not disclosed.

Head of the Kingston East Police Division Superintendent Victor Hamilton addressed the concerns of residents that criminals have been disposing dead bodies along the winding corridor leading from the Norman Manley airport.

“Persons from Port Royal would and should be concerned about these incidents. Regarding the dumping, it is unfortunate to find that this is happening. But we don't have the capacity to police every inch of Jamaica, so persons with criminal intentions will find those gaps. The road from the Norman Manley Airport to Port Royal is quite lonely and we want to give a general warning to the public to be careful when travelling along that corridor or to Fort Rocky,” Hamilton said.

“We understand the concerns of the citizens of Port Royal. It's their community, and it is our concern as well because persons [who] travel to Port Royal for entertainment and businesses might also be affected, so we understand the concern from that angle. We are trying to step it up in terms of patrolling, but we are also asking for the vigilance of the citizens of Port Royal and persons who travel along that corridor, if they see anything unusual, we ask them to call the Police so we can check,” he added.

The superintendent also reported that Fort Rocky — once an English fort built in 1888 and now an eerie ruin known for its picturesque surroundings is a popular spot for tourists and students but has also attracted criminals due to the lack of security.

“Fort Rocky is an open space and persons go there for various reasons. There have been some unfortunate incidents of robberies in Fort Rocky. People go there for educational reasons and have been robbed. There was also a case of some Canadian visitors who were victimised”, Hamilton revealed.

Checks with the Jamaica National Heritage Trust, which has responsibility for the ruin as a heritage site, revealed that the facility is not open for tours as there is no infrastructure to facilitate proper security measures.

“It's an open site so there is no form of security there. They are trying to get it up as an entertainment zone, but there are no official tours done there. All we do is maintain it by keeping it clean,” a site manager with the trust told the Sunday Observer.

Superintendent Hamilton warned against people travelling to the location in pairs or small groups.

“We want to send a general warning to people who go there that they should be careful. In fact, we warn against persons like couples or small groups going there because we have history on our side to show that the space is not safe,” Hamilton said.

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