HOMICIDE detectives last night turned to the parents of missing children for help in identifying the body of a girl which was found ablaze in bushes along the Port Royal Road in Kingston, yesterday.
The police believe the girl of fair complexion, who they estimate to be about 14 years old, was raped, killed and her nude body dumped and set alight in a bid to destroy evidence. The body was found wrapped in a tarpaulin with hands bound and a cord around the neck.
"We suspect that the child was killed and her body dumped at around 2:00 pm," Deputy Superintendent Hornet Williams told the Jamaica Observer.
The body was discovered by firefighters who responded to a call about a bush fire in the area.
Yesterday, as detectives combed the area for clues, the East Kingston police began sending out calls to parents of missing girls for them to visit the scene.
"At this time we are trying to make contact with a number of parents who have reported their children missing as we try to ascertain the identity of the child," DSP Williams explained.
One woman, who had reported her daughter missing, arrived on the scene to view the body. However, after a few agonising minutes of inspection, declared that the body was not that of her daughter.
She managed to breathe a sigh of relief, however the look on her face was still one of anguish.
"My daughter went missing yesterday (Tuesday) and I have been searching for her from that time," the distraught woman told the Observer.
Yesterday's gruesome find came just weeks after hundreds of frustrated Jamaicans marched through sections of the Corporate Area and staged protests in various town squares to voice their concerns about the high incidence of rapes and other forms of abuse against children.
On September 24 the nation was left in shock after five females, including three children ages eight, 14, and 16, were attacked and raped at their home in Irwin, St James by two gunmen. The youngest victim, according to a source, had to undergo emergency surgery because of the ordeal.
Two suspects have since been held.
Last week, police arrested a man on allegations that he molested a nine-year-old girl in a rural St Andrew community. On October 7, a taxi operator allegedly sexually assaulted his a 12-year-old goddaughter while taking her home from school.
Only two days later in the same parish, another man was arrested for the alleged rape of a 16-year-old girl. The teen, accompanied by a male relative, was reportedly on her way home when she was dragged into bushes and assaulted.
Yesterday, the police reiterated their call for parents and guardians to be vigilant in protecting their children from sexual crimes.