Family in anguish as teen's murder still unsolved

July 26, 2017
Meleta Fearon cries as she remembers her daughter Shanika Phillips who was murdered in April.
Meleta Fearon shows some of the photos she uses to remember her daughter.

It is approaching four months since 14-year-old Shanika Phillips was slain near her home in Cockburn Pen, Kingston, but her family is still in anguish as there has been no progress in the investigation of her murder.

They are imploring investigators to act with urgency and for key witnesses to come forward so that the culprits who cut her life short, can be brought to justice.

"Not because she dead and gone, we no forget about her and we want justice for her. Me nah see the police a do anything. It's like them just say 'Cho, that gone inna 'file 13'," Meleta Fearon lamented.

The heartbroken mother could not fight back the tears as she reflected on her daughter's life and the tragic way in which she passed.

"She neva get to do her Grade Nine Achievement Test (GNAT) at Saint Margaret's Human Resource Centre. They killed her the Wednesday and a the Monday she fi do the test," said Fearon. "She tell me say she want to pass for Tivoli Gardens High School and take up the dancing and teach people to dance. And she was taking driving lessons because when she reach 20 she wanted to buy her own car."


Varying accounts


Since Shanika's murder on April 20, Fearon said she has been hearing varying accounts of what transpired. One story is that Shanika and a relative were returning home when Shanika peeped into a vehicle and saw some homosexuals who were performing a sexual act. They then allegedly shot and killed Shanika.

But according to reports from the Corporate Communications Unit (CCU), Shanika and a female relative were returning home from a shop when armed men travelling in a motor vehicle, fired shots in their direction.

The police were summoned and Shanika was assisted to hospital where she was pronounced dead.

"Nothing happening with the case. Me say to the (investigating) officer, 'Me little daughter dead just go so?' And him say 'Me can't do nothing'," Fearon told THE STAR.

Now, the family is haunted by memories of their beloved Shanika and are grappling to cope with the reality that her murderers are still at large.

"I just want [the witness(es)] to talk and the police hold the murderers. Me want them give up demself because them a eat and drink while my daughter bury. Wha dem do a wickedness," Fearon appealed.

When THE STAR contacted the investigating officer, he could not speak on the matter. Subsequent efforts to reach him through the CCU proved futile.

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