Wayne Marshall cried for Yetanya

October 01, 2018
Wayne Marshall (right) and Latoya Riley, mother of Yetanya, comfort each other at the thanksgiving service for the 14-year-old which was held at the Half-Way Tree Seventh-day Adventist Church, St Andrew, yesterday.
Paulette Chin, grandmother of Yetanya Riley, weeps during a thanksgiving service for the Kingston Technical High School student who was murdered in her community of Arnett Gardens last month.
Wayne Marshall (right) and Latoya Riley, mother of Yetanya, comfort each other at the thanksgiving service for the 14-year-old which was held at the Half-Way Tree Seventh-day Adventist Church, St Andrew, yesterday.
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When Wayne Marshall turned up at the Half-Way Tree Seventh-day Adventist Church to perform his gospel hit, Glory to God, yesterday, little did the entertainer know that he would be overcome with emotions at the funeral for Yetanya Francis.

"It was terrible, I felt it to my core," the entertainer said.

Yetanya, 14, left home in Arnett Gardens on August 23 to go to a nearby shop to purchase food. When she did not return home, a search was launched by residents of the community, but she was not found. Her nude, partly burnt body was found in a section of the community by residents the following day.

"It was so brutal and mindless how she died," the artiste told THE STAR after the funeral.

Yetanya would have celebrated her 15th birthday yesterday.

Wayne Marshall's Glory to God is one of the most popular on the island at this point. He said that when he was asked to perform he said., "Absolutely." But performing the song proved difficult for the experienced Marshall as he burst into tears while singing.

"It is rare that I couldn't compose myself. Usually I'm OK, but this opened wounds where mouring is concerned for me. It ruff," he said.

Wayne Marshall  lost his father, Wycliffe Mitchell, in June.

Speaking at the funeral, South St Andrew Member of Parliament Mark Golding, in whose constituency Yetanya lived, urged people with information about the murder of the Kingston Technical High School student to come forward.

“I believe it is important to say that we owe it to the family, to the community, to find the courage to bring to justice the perpetrators of this horrible and tragic crime," Golding said.

"It is not the time for cowardice. It is the time for courage. Jamaica cannot achieve the greatness, which is our destiny, if we, the citizens of the country, do not have the courage to provide information that can lead to the accountability of these persons who commit these types f terrible wrongs,” he added.

Yetanya's father, Lionel Francis, made his way to the podium to speak about the life of his beloved daughter but broke down before he could complete the first sentence.  His tribute was read by a friend of the family.

“She impacted everyone she came in contact and was very active. She loved sports and was a netballer at her school where she played the centre position. She led cheerleading competitions. That was one of her special sports,” the tribute said.

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