A relative of missing Roman Catholic priest, Father Charles Brown, has positively identified a decomposing body found on Monday as that of the clergyman who went missing last week.
Brown's corpse was found by passers-by along a dirt road near the foot of the Plantation Heights in St Andrew.
Father Donald Chambers, the Vicar of Administration at the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Kingston, confirmed that the remains were identified by Brown's nephew in his presence.
"A close relative of Father Charles Brown, a religious sister and myself visited the morgue where the body was identified," Chambers told the Jamaica Observer yesterday, noting that items of clothing were used to identify Brown's remains.
However, police investigators said that despite the identification, they were still awaiting the results of a DNA test of body samples to make final confirmation of the identity.
Brown's body was found six days after he was reported missing. He was last seen at a church meeting in Seaview Gardens, also in St Andrew. A day after he went missing, his motor car was found off the Mandela Highway.
Yesterday, as news emerged of the developments, Chambers warned that the image of the country stands to suffer as a result of the gruesome attack.
"Already this news has hit the foreign press. I have received calls from at least 10 media houses and already heard comments leading the foreign press of how this will affect the tourism industry," Chambers said.
Chambers, the spokesperson for the Roman Catholic Church in Jamaica, said the news has triggered shock and worry among Jamaicans and the international community.
"When the sacred is defiled people think that it is the last straw and that the society has gone to its knees. In every society in every culture you have places that are considered sacred when that boundary begins to be crossed the society is in serious problem," said Chambers.
He said church officials were preparing to arrange counselling sessions in churches across the island where Chambers worked.