The police have detained a 50-year-old man in connection with the death of 20-year-old Khanice Jackson, a St Andrew High School for Girls alumna and accountant clerk of Manchester Avenue, Independence City, in Portmore, St Catherine.
Jackson's body was found Friday morning at the Portmore Fishing Village in a state of partial decomposition. She had been missing since Wednesday, after she left home for work about 8:00 am.
The constabulary reported that about 7:00 am a resident stumbled upon the body and summoned the police. The cops said the body was clad in a black skirt and blue blouse.
Head of the St Catherine South Police Division, Senior Superintendent Clive Blair, told the Jamaica Observer that the man, a mechanic, is to be interrogated.
“The person of interest is in custody now, and the necessary investigation has commenced,” Blair said, noting that information as to how the suspect was pinpointed cannot be divulged.
Shortly after the news broke, the hashtags #JusticeForKhanice, #StopViolenceAgainstWomen and #ProtectOurWomen began trending on social media platform Twitter.
St Andrew High School Old Girls' Association, in a social media post, described Jackson as “caring, dedicated, spirited and a loving friend who radiated warmth to all she came in contact with”.
“Her intelligence, charm and beautiful energy left a mark on all who encountered her,” the association said.
Entertainer Beenie Man took to the platform and wrote: “The real pandemic is the crime and violence in Jamaica. We are not OK. Our hearts are bleeding, our children and women are not safe! This nuh right iyah! This nuh right. We need justice and a that we need.”
In another tweet, he added: “I am sending condolence to Khanice's family. Me can't imagine how I would feel if this was my daughter, but to how me feel hurt right now, imagine the pain this family going through.”
Event and TV host Dr Terri-Karelle Reid also chimed in, underscoring the lack of serious action to tackle violence against women.
“She was close to home. She was taken and violated. Every striking day we talk bout dis and dat and up to now we can't address gender-based violence. We don't address the constant fear and danger that our women live in. We are never a priority,” Reid tweeted.
Miss Universe Jamaica 2014 Kaci Fennell-Shirley said, “Being a woman is so scary sometimes”.
“We are always targeted and in the same breath always labelled that we're overreacting, we're overthinking. This is so sad. Khanice, you didn't deserve this.”
Outraged, many people have likened Jackson's tragic fate to that of 21-year-old Jasmine Deen, who has been missing for over a year. Deen, a visually impaired student of The University of the West Indies, has not been seen since boarding a taxi after leaving school on February 27, 2020.
Her father, Lloyd Deen, said he sympathises with Jackson's family.
“Dem things deh wicked. Dem wicked. A bare things the man dem a do the woman dem. A dis dem a go round and a do. Mi hope dem find everybody who involved and dem need fi talk up,” he said.
Minister of National Security Dr Horace Chang condemned Jackson's murder, calling it “vicious” and a “tragedy”.
“Recovering the soul of our nation requires that a strong message is sent to those who prey on our citizens, including women and children, that they will be met with the full force of the law and will be brought to justice,” Chang said.
“The Government will not be deterred by naysayers who attempt to impose stumbling blocks in the way of proven, credible and strong measures intended to reduce murders in the island,” he said.