Shock and bewilderment
Several in mourning as Calabar coach, young woman found deadTuesday, February 16, 2021
BY JASON CROSS
CALABAR High School middle and long distance track and field Coach Errol Messias says he was left puzzled when he heard yesterday of the murder of colleague Nicholas Neufville.
The bodies of 38-year-old Neufville, who police confirmed resided in Waterford, Portmore, St Catherine, and a woman identified as 19-year-old Raheima Edwards of Passagefort, also in Portmore, were found yesterday in an open lot in the vicinity of Exchange Avenue and Dyke Road, about 6:23 am. Both bodies were on the ground behind a Honda motor vehicle in the dusty area, frequently used by people learning to drive. The car was believed to be owned by Neufville.
Detectives were kept busy combing the scene for evidence yesterday morning, as well as trying to get a relative of Neufville to calm down as he was behaving erratically, slapping the top of a motor vehicle he drove to the scene. He also paced back and forth on the crime scene.
Messias said he had a particularly special attachment to Neufville, having coached him in the mid-1990s while he was a student-athlete at Calabar. Neufville, he said, had a love for track and field, which later influenced him to become a coach.
“The last time I spoke to him was Friday evening. I was leaving and he called to me saying, 'Everything alright?' I said, 'Yes,' and he said everything was alright with him, and him just a gwaan do him thing. I knew him very well. I coached him in jumping events and I also became one of his colleagues as a coach at Calabar. He was very humble and the type of person who wasn't afraid to tell you the truth. If yu waan vex, yu vex, but him a come talk to yu afterwards, same way. As coaches, we always had fun moments. Whether it be after training or after a track meet, we would kick back and drink two beers or something like that and reminisce about the team's progress,” Messias told the Jamaica Observer.
“He was one of those jovial persons. He is always running jokes, so I really cannot understand what transpired. He is not the type of person you would hear is in problems with others. You never heard of that. I know him from around 1996. We are shocked and are questioning why someone would really want to snuff his life out. That is the same question that his father and sister are also asking,” said Messias, who added that a group from Calabar visited Neufville's relatives to offer condolence.
Messias added that members of the school's track and field team have been bombarding his cellphone with calls, expressing grief and disbelief at Neufville's murder. “It is devastating to the athletes. The counselling department has already planned counselling for them. It is really a rough time. It is tough,” Messias said.
Head of Calabar's guidance counselling department, Rev Stephen Smith, said Neufville was a pleasant individual.
“It is really a hard blow for us. He was a very, very humble person. It is a shocker. Why anyone would want to take his life? We are awaiting the investigations of the police. I was at his home and spoke to his sister and father and they cannot make sense of what has happened.
“They said he wasn't someone who would have a fuss with anybody. His death is frightening and shocking and, of course, it is impacting the athletes,” Rev Smith told the Observer.
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