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Elderly farmer murdered in Trelawny

BY HORACE HINES Observer staff reporter hinesh@jamaicaobserver.com

Monday, January 20, 2014    

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SHERWOOD CONTENT, Trelawny — The nude body of an elderly farmer, who went missing last Friday, was discovered in bushes in the parish yesterday.

The deceased has been identified as 79-year-old Leslie Smith.

Meanwhile, the Clark's Town police have taken a man into custody for questioning in connection with the farmer's death.

Residents of the normally quiet farming community said Smith was last seen alive Friday morning en route to his farm.

An alarm was raised when he did not return home later that day as he customarily does.

A search launched the following day (Saturday) for the missing farmer proved futile.

But yesterday, about 11:30 am, as members of the searching party were again combing the bushes for Smith, they saw a male member of the community with animals belonging to Smith.

"We saw him (suspect) in the bushes with him (Smith's) donkey and a goat," a community member told the Jamaica Observer.

The suspect, who residents alleged had a dispute with Smith before he went missing was cornered and beaten by some angry members of the search team.

He was, however, saved by the police who arrived shortly after.

The suspect reportedly directed the police and members of the search party to where the body was located.

The nude body of the farmer, who had a wound to the head and whose hands appeared to be broken, was later found in the deep woods of a section of the community called Peru Mountain.

This is the second homicide being recorded in the Trelawny Police Division since the start of the year.

Incidentally, the first murder in the parish this year was recorded in the Clarks Town police area where a 14-year-old is accused of fatally stabbing 13-year-old Jevaughnie Gordon in the sugar belt Clark's Town community.

Meanwhile, on Boxing Day last year, the Clarks Town police were called to probe the shooting death of a female farmer, 65-year-old Jeraldine Powell, in the Sherwood Content community.

Last year a total of 26 homicides were recorded in the parish, a 76 per cent increase over the 15 recorded in 2012.

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