'A terrible start to the new year'
Family in mourning after man said to be mentally ill kills breadwinnerThursday, January 13, 2022
BY AKERA DAVIS
HEATHFIELD, St Elizabeth— It has been a challenge for Desrene Croff and her son, 13-year-old Leon Gray, to accept that Leon's father, Garnett, is no longer around.
On the fourth day of the new year, 60-year-old Gray was chopped to death in Heathfield, St Elizabeth, by a man said to be suffering from mental illness.
According to the police, about 7:30 pm Gray and the man had an altercation during which Gray was chopped several times. He was assisted to the hospital and died while receiving treatment.
“Is a phone call mi get, wake mi out a mi sleep, and from mi get the news mi whole world change. Mi and mi son can't stop cry because we never a expect to hear nothing like this, a terrible start to the new year,” said Croff.
“We will miss him. I can't even begin to explain how much we gonna miss him. He was such a nice individual; him don't make trouble. That is why mi even feel his death so much, because him nuh trouble nobody at all,” she added.
The two met while vending at the Charles Gordon Market in Montego Bay in 2005 and, soon after, Garnett moved in with Croff at her house in Mount Carey, St James.
“Him get a son with me and he was so happy because he really wanted a boy. He already has four girls. Even after we break up he was still there for us,” Croff told the Jamaica Observer.
As she reminisced on the relationship that Leon and his dad shared, she was brought to tears and lamented that, “a great father figure” will be missing from her son's life.
“He is the best father to my son and he took good care of me and him. They see each other every week, and if my son wants the world he would give him. So to see someone take him life, leave him children them really pain me because him always a make sure him children well taken care of,” Croff lamented.
She said her son, a student of Cambridge High School, is not coping well with his father's passing.
“This is gonna affect my son forever because he is taking it hard. Everything is always daddy, him not even a play with the other kids like him use to. He is just always by himself crying since everything happen,” Croff told the Observer.
“Every time him post on him status that him miss and love him daddy and him wish he could bring him back,” she added.