Just one day after a woman in her late teens reportedly returned to Jamaica from the United States, she and her mother, who is in her mid-50s, were gunned down early Monday morning on Spanish Town Road in St Andrew, bringing grown men who knew them to tears.
Up to press time on Monday, the police had not identified the women; however, people who said they knew them well told the Jamaica Observer that the mother was called Sophia Drummond and the daughter Melika Duhaney.
Duhaney was said to be about 18 years old and her mother 56.
Kirk Ricketts, senior superintendent of police in charge of the St Andrew South division, said the incident occurred about 5:10 am. According to Ricketts, the mother and daughter were both from a Kingston Eastern address.
While the senior cop could not give a motive for the crime, he assured the public that investigators are working assiduously to do so.
Drummond, according to Observer sources, was a dispatcher for the National Solid Waste and Management Authority (NSWMA). She was also known for selling food and drink items to NSWMA staff who work on trucks that collect and dump rubbish at Riverton landfill in St Andrew.
The Observer was told by sources that every day except Saturdays and Sundays, the mother would park her car at one of the entrances of the landfill on Spanish Town Road and sell to sanitation workers going to and from the landfill.
One woman, who said that she had been a friend of Drummond for more than 30 years, was in a state of disbelief despite visiting the crime scene and seeing her friend lying motionless on a sidewalk near J Wray & Nephew on Spanish Town Road.
"She would sell from out of her car. I didn't come to my shop on Friday, so Thursday was the last time I saw her. My daughter was here on Friday, so I was looking forward to seeing her today. Instead, I got a call that she died. I had to go and see if it was really true," she said.
"Every day I looked forward to seeing her. She used to be on the truck, but she started to dispatch the trucks. Today was the first I see some big man cry. The side men on the garbage trucks cried. When they come to work in the mornings, they would get tea whether they have money or not. If they don't have any money, they pay her every fortnight. She used to make sandwiches and those things for them," she told the Observer.
One man explained that he was vexed by the killings. He, too, knew Drummond and had only positive things to say about her.
"She buy and sell. She was a nice person to me, although some people will show that they are nice to some but others have a different experience. She and I had no disagreement. In the mornings I would buy cigarette and other things from her," the man said.
The Observer tried to get comments from other people who might have known Drummond; however, they refrained from commenting.