Body of teen recovered from Westmoreland river
WESTMORELAND, Jamaica – After three days of frantic searching, the body of a teen who met into difficulties while swimming at the Cabarita River in Big Bridge, Westmoreland was found on Wednesday.
He has been identified as 18-year-old Juneay ‘Junior’ McKoy of a Manchester address.
Zone Four Commander for Little London and the Negril Division, Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP) Shaunjaye Mitchell told Observer Online that McKoy’s body was retrieved.
“It was found shortly after 3pm about 500m from the bridge, the marine police was sent there. With assistance from the police and citizens, the body was retrieved,” Mitchell explained.
He said investigations are ongoing and a post mortem will be done to determine the cause of death, however no marks of violence was on his person.
McKoy’s mother, Denise Morgan said while the situation has left her traumatised, she is grateful to the Big Bridge community who worked tirelessly to find her son’s body.
“I am grateful, I am very happy I got my son’s body to bury and thank you to everyone, including the ladies of Big Bridge,” Morgan told Observer Online on Wednesday evening.
McKoy, who had arrived in Westmoreland three weeks ago with his cousin to work on a construction site, lost his life tragically.
His cousin, Floyd “Souljie” Smith is also praising the fishermen who helped to find McKoy.
“Big up to the fishermen from Big Bridge!” Smith said.
He is also lobbying the authorities to provide diving gears for the fishermen, who he suggested could use the equipment to save lives.
“We are asking for help, for equipment for the fishermen. A team of two fishermen helped us today and many thanks to them,” he lauded.
Community members were relieved but saddened for the loss of life.
Linda Anderson, a community member, sought to give advice to persons who may want to venture into the river.
“You have to be cautious when jumping because the water is deceptive. It’s deep and there is strong underwater current. A person who isn’t a good swimmer will end up in difficulty,” she warned.
Councillor for the Little London Division, Ian Myles, who visited the river Sunday and lent his support to the family, praised the community for finding McKoy.
“I want to commend the citizens of Egypt Gardens and surrounding the communities for their act Bravery and the great gesture. A 15-year-old found the body. It is with gigh praises and heartfelt gratitude and this is what community spirit is about,” Myles stressed.
– Kimberley Peddie