STRATHBOGIE, Westmoreland — Seven-year-old Nayla often prayed God would keep her mother, 25-year-old Shadae Foster, safe.
Now the young girl and the rest of her family are looking to Him for strength to cope with Foster's gruesome murder.
Her body was found by residents of Petersfield Tuesday morning. There was a chop wound to her head. Her body was discovered in Bastard Cedar Walk, just metres from the Petersfield Wesleyan Holiness Church.
“Mi cyaah believe dem kill Shadae and leave her a roadside. My husband just died in August from COVID and then this happens,” her distraught grandmother Melva Myrie told the Jamaica Observer.
She said although Foster lived on Wharf Road in the parish, she visited often.
“She come here every day and her mother makes sure she never leaves without a bag. She usually come with two of her children because her oldest one [Nayla] lives here. But she didn't come yesterday,” Myrie said.
“Shadae was a very bright girl, very smart. Her mother was even planning to send her back to school. Mi sorry she dead this way. Mi sorry for the children, to know they lost their mother this way,” she added.
Myrie said Nayla would pray for her mother each day during family devotion.
“Every day the little girl pray for her mother. Every single day she ask God to keep her mother safe and to help her to stop drinking,” she said.
The family believes Foster was drinking the night before she died.
“She drink you know; but whatever happened, she never deserve fi dead that way. The mother saw her last night and sent her home but she [Foster] seh she never ready and she left and went to Petersfield, with who I don't know. I don't know why they kill her,” Myrie said.
A family friend, who only gave his name as Anthony, said he was gutted at the news of Foster's death.
“Mi a town man, but when mi come Westmoreland a dis here house mi come and them people here feed mi and take care of mi, so a mi and Shadae grow up and she used to look out fi mi. Mi cry man when mi hear seh she dead. Dem never haffi kill har,” he railed.
One resident of Strathbogie who asked not to be named said he was enraged when he heard the news.
“Jah know, mi feel a way. A nice girl enuh and mi nuh condone wah happen to her. Mi bex man cause mi cyaah believe somebody woulda really do dat. Is a girl weh nuh really stay pon roadside like we yah suh but you always see har pass wid har babyfather pon him bike, or you see her wid the two children. See, all dem deh pickney deh a guh grow without mother now. Cyaah believe wah a happen inna Jamaica now,” he said.
Foster's body is the second one found in the Petersfield area this week.
Another unidentified female was found in Hertford Monday night. The body was decomposed.
The Westmoreland police are investigating both incidents.