Families of slain Munro old boys want answers

BY TANESHA MUNDLE
Observer staff reporter
mundlet@jamaicaobserver.com

Monday, February 04, 2019

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FAMILY members of the two Munro past students whose gunshot-riddled bodies were found floating in a shallow river in Dallas Castle, St Andrew, are asking for answers as they try to come to terms with the shocking and unexpected murders of the two promising young men.

Akiele Davis, a 25-year-old seafarer of Golden Grove, St Ann; and 25-year-old Reynold Kerr, civil engineer of Arcadia Boulevard in St Andrew, and who recently graduated from the University of the Technology, were both on their way to a reunion at the University of the West Indies with fellow Munro old boys when their lives were snuffed out.

According to their relatives, both men had not seen each other in years. Davis had travelled from St Ann and had picked up Kerr in a 2018 Honda CRV in Kingston, and had taken him home to change after a football tournament, before leaving for the reunion.

However, the bodies of the two young men were later found in a river in Dallas Castle, St Andrew on January 20, after residents made the discovery about 7:00 am and summoned the police.

When the Jamaica Observer spoke to Davis' mother, Yvette, the distraught woman said she and her family are really struggling to cope with the loss of her second child. She said she needs the perpetrator to be brought to justice and to know why her only son was taken from her in such a horrific and cruel manner.

“It's stressful, it's hard, because you want answers and don't know where to look for them; and we are not getting any — and that makes it even more distressing,” she said.

“But I am just hoping that they find the person that did it so I can ask the person why, and I want the person to be brought to justice. Akiele is not coming back, he is dead, so I just really want to know why so I can put closure to it.”

She added: “Akiele was a quiet, reserved person. he was very studious, very ambitious. Throughout school — primary school, Munro, Caribbean Maritime Institute (CMI) — he always maintained a 90 per cent average.

“He was a very loving and caring child, he was so futuristic, he had all his plans written down and right now he was on track according to what he aspired to be,” she added.

The grieving mother said her son, who was employed as a first mate on the Golar Arctic liquefied natural gas Tanker in Montego Bay, was also doing a chief mate course at CMI.

“He was looking forward to reaching the chief mate position, and working another five more years and getting married and starting his family,” the mother revealed.

According to her, she first became concerned about her son's whereabouts on the Saturday night of January 19 when he did not return home or called, as was his usual practice. On the Sunday when all her calls went unanswered she became more worried, but she did not think that her son had been murdered. She thought worst case he had been in an accident — but her worries morphed into a nightmare when the police came to her with news that they had found the licence plate from the vehicle that her son had been driving.

Similarly, Kerr's family members, who also spoke of unimaginable anguish and pain, said they, too, would want to know why he was killed, as he did not deserve such a cruel end.

“We would like to know because nothing adds up. And I guess I don't even know why we want to know because it's not going to take away the pain, it's not going to take away the emptiness, or the big space that's left in our lives. We can only deal with what is here and now,” said Kerr's wife Dr Azima Akimbe, who said her heart stopped when she first heard that he was killed.

Her mother, Belinda Lee, also expressed similar sentiments.

“It's the first something like this has ever happened in our family, and we suffer for it every single day because we really want to know. I want to know what happened so my imagination doesn't drive me crazy every single second as to how he suffered,” she said.

“I would like to know how this happened that they would end up at Dallas Caste, and shot three and five times. He didn't deserve that and you would have never imagined that anybody would want to hurt him. He would have been totally taken off guard by these men,” she added.

Lee remembered Kerr as, “A totally unassuming young man; very humble, very comfortable in himself. He loved people generally. He loved life, he loved technology. He wanted to live way over 100 years old because he said technology is moving so fast and he couldn't wait to see what would be happening in the world.”

Furthermore, she said, “He was just ready to take off. He just got his degree in his hand and he was almost a blank slate in terms of going out there in the world to make his mark.”

Kerr's wife, who was overseas when he went missing and who rushed home after hearing the unfortunate news, said she has lost her best friend and one of the nicest and happiest people she has ever met. She said her husband had a heart of gold and was a praying man, one who was loved by all who came in contact with him as he radiated warmth and love wherever he went.

She remains puzzled as to the cruelty that was meted out to him as he was a very simple man who never raised his voice.

However, Dr Akimbe said while she wants justice for her husband's murder, she also wishes for the heart of her killer to be changed and for that person to become a Christian because that is something that Kerr would want.

“I wish them not to do this to another, and I know Reynold would want their heart to be changed. And I don't know how but I would also want to do something in that community because as I said, cruelty brings cruelty. And they must have had a cruel life. because you don't just get up and do that, so I'm not wishing cruelty on them,” she said.

While other relatives are seeking answers, Kerr's mother Sherna Campbell said she has sought comfort in the arms of the Lord, who knows everything.

“My son was one of those persons just loved by all. I really don't question why and how it happened, I just know that God says He is the God that knows everything and He allows something to happen; and I just rest in the Lord as He knows best,” she said.

According to Campbell, when she first heard about her son' death she had just finished praise and worship, but the news sent her straight back into worship.

For her, Kerr was the best son.

“He was loving, caring, he was a Christian; most of all, he just loved the Lord. He was one of those that would bring life wherever he went,” she said.

She said she knows that something great is coming out of this tragedy, as her son's death will not be in vain.

And friend Brandon Fletcher added that Kerr had much to contribute to Jamaica.

“He was the go-to person for ideas. he had so many business ideas, so many plans. I just wish I had got a chance to see what my friend would have achieved 10 years from now,” he said.

He described Kerr as a brother, his advisor, a true optimist who always had a contagious smile and always saw the good in everything.


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