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No one charged with nurse's killing one year after

By RENAE DIXON Sunday Observer staff reporter dixonr@jamaicaobserver.com

Sunday, January 19, 2014    

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The brutal killing of nurse Shellion Pinnock Lafayette on the night of January 16, 2013 as she returned home from work, shook the Jamaican landscape.

Work ended at the Annotto Bay Hospital around 10:30 and police said that the 30-year-old was shot dead around 11 o'clock, as she meandered her Toyota Starlet motorcar along the rugged Farmers Heights road, close to the Port Maria Hospital where she had worked before.

The questions that followed her death were many, and answers were sought regarding why anyone would kill someone who was described by her colleagues at her place of employ as the ultimate team member and a worker who went the extra mile in ensuring that her end of the State's health care bargain was kept.

The question of how a hard-working mother of a son aged 12, and daughter, seven, should have met her demise in that gruesome manner, was also posed.

As the shots woke up the normally quiet community, it later emerged that Lafayette's car ran into a ditch and she had been hit by a bullet in the neck, mere metres from her humble home. Her medical colleagues at the Port Maria Hospital tried in vain. But reality struck - she was already dead.

One year later, sleuths have still not been able to crack the case - no one has been detained, or charged, in relation to the killing.

While they are still seeking closure in the form of an arrest and conviction for the act, the family of the nurse is still trying to figure out why anyone would have wanted her dead, and who would have done such a dreadful thing.

"It seems like is just yesterday," Sharlette Pinnock, a sister of Lafayette told the Jamaica Observer during an interview last week.

Pinnock said that the death of her sister remains still fresh in the memory of family members who are still disturbed by all that has transpired.

She said that Lafayette's young children were deeply affected and cry almost every night since their mother's passing. They have been undergoing consistent counselling.

Lafayette's mother is also still trying to come to terms with the brutal slaying of her daughter.

Pinnock said that last year was a rough one for the family.

"I feel sad, disappointed that they have not caught anyone as yet," she stated.

She however feels that catching the perpetrator would not undo the harm that has already been done.

"If they catch the person, he may get away or he will be in prison eating three times a day," she stated.

In the meantime, the St Mary police said that they were still rigorously pursuing the case, and although one year has passed, they still expect to make a breakthrough.

Several persons were reportedly interviewed in connection with the matter.

For 2013, the St Mary police recorded a 34 per cent clear-up rate in murders. Of the 21 murders between January and June 2013, six were cleared up, meaning that arrests were made.

Six of the 14 murders between July and December were also cleared up. The parish reported a 34 per cent clear-up rate in major crimes.

According to the St Mary Police they have suspects in some cases, but some of these persons have been elusive. A triple murder which happened in the parish last year is among those not solved yet.

The St Mary Police also seized several firearms last year, one during the first half of the year and nine in the second half. Of those seized, four were pistols, two revolvers and three home made guns.

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