Slain child’s dog acting strange since her death
The phrase "man's best friend" fittingly describes the close bond between domestic dogs and their human companions, and it was no different for slain eight-year-old Danielle Rowe.
As she addressed yesterday's special devotional exercise held in remembrance of Danielle at Braeton Primary Infant School, Education Minister Fayal Williams recounted a visit to the child's home on Sunday with National Security Minister Dr Horace Chang.
"As we walked into the yard, we heard singing and praying from community members and as we spoke and tried to console her, she pointed to the cutest little dog that was lying in the yard, and said to us 'That's Danielle's dog, he has been lying there all day'," Williams said. She said Danielle's mother revealed that the dog loved sardines, but an open can of the treat laying beside it remained untouched.
"If animals can feel grief, how much more can the family, how much more the students, how much more can Jamaicans?" the education minister said.
Danielle was reportedly abducted from the school, which is situated in Portmore, St Catherine, last Thursday. She was later found with her throat slashed on Roosevelt Avenue in St Andrew. She succumbed to her injuries last Saturday.
Throughout yesterday's activity, there was an atmosphere of intense sorrow which affected everyone, from Danielle's relatives and schoolmates to dignitaries. As they grieved, officials tried to bring words of comfort and assurance that similar incidents
Williams said that the ministry will be beefing up security arrangements at primary schools by installing camera systems at the entrances. She also said that the ministry wants students to wake up happily and attend school, without having to wonder about their safety and security. Portmore Mayor Leon Thomas said the municipal corporation also has plans to put in robust security camera systems in different points of all the schools of the municipality. Senior Superintendent Christopher Phillips, commander for the St Catherine South Police Division, which planned and executed the special devotional exercise, called on members of the public to desist from making inflammatory postings on social media, and allow the investigative process to unearth the truth.
"This incident has brought to the forefront once again the importance of school safety and security, it is our responsibility to ensure that our nation's children are safe, hence we are committed to working with the ministry of education," he said. Phillips urged the ministry to move quickly to update its school security policy one that creates a standard procedure on school safety and procedures for all schools. He implored principals of schools in the division to establish safety and security committees to review incidents and respond to obvious gaps that might be developing in their security systems.
The St Andrew South homicide team is leading the investigations.