Principal blasts State agencies as little ‘Sunshine’ laid to rest
COMFORT CASTLE, Portland — During a tearful funeral for eight-year-old Vinice “Sunshine” Burke, whose murder still remains a mystery, the principal of the school she attended blasted agents of the State for how the case is being handled.
The young girl, who lived in Comfort Castle, Portland, was found unresponsive at her stepfather’s house on Friday, September 22, 2023. There was a bag over her face. She was taken to the Port Antonio Hospital where she was pronounced dead. She was laid to rest on Sunday.
At the Comfort Castle Seventh-day Adventist Church mourners wept bitterly and others, with tear-filled eyes, gave tributes in song and speech.
Principal Dalmain Moore spoke of the last time he saw the child. He also lamented what he described as a lack of response from the Ministry of Education and Youth, as well as the Child Development Agency (CDA), and the Child Protection and Family Services Agency (CPFSA).
“I was hopeful that the post-mortem would have identified something, so that at least as a family we could find closure. But it returned inconclusive. I realised yet again we have been failed by the agents of the State. In addition to the other agencies that we have, like the CDA, CPFSA, CISOCA (the Centre for the Investigation of Sexual Offences and Child Abuse) I have never seen any representative of any of those organisations who are brand-name to protect the children of this country,” he said.
He added: “I have never seen any of them coming up to offer support, or even to investigate. Vinice was not living by herself and so I wonder about the level of investigation that went into this matter. I am also concerned about the level of investigation from the Ministry of Education. I can recall clearly that there was another incident of another eight-year-old child in St Ann that got the level of attention, and it begs the question: Is it because of the locale why we are being treated this way?”
He encouraged parents to keep a close eye on their children.
Marcia Hamilton, one of the young girl’s teachers, explained why she was called Sunshine.
She described her “as a happy, loving child with a loving, radiant personality who exuded joy and cheerfulness evidenced by her radiant smile which epitomises a sunflower in bloom”.
A bouquet of sunflowers was presented to the child’s weeping mother, Janice Percy, and students sang You Are My Sunshine in honour of their late schoolmate as teachers joined in.