Sunday 9 August, 2020

Police appeal amid three suspected suicides since Friday

The Negril police in Westmoreland are seeking the public’s assistance to identify the body of a woman that was found in Whitehall Housing Scheme in the parish on Saturday, March 2.

This is amid an appeal from the police force in the face of two cases of suspected suicide on Friday.  

The body found in Negril appears to be in the late 20s or early 30s and is of dark complexion, slim built, and is about 165 centimetres (five feet five inches) tall.

The body has several tattoos and was clad in a grey pullover and camouflage pants.

Reports from the Negril police are that about 7:00 a.m., residents saw the woman’s body hanging by the neck in an unfinished section of a house, and called the authorities.

The police responded and the body was cut down and removed to the morgue.

The scene was processed by personnel from the Area One technical services team.

Investigators have so far gleaned that the woman was known by residents as ‘Flowers’, and are treating the incident as a case of suicide, pending the outcome of a post-mortem examination.

The investigators are appealing to persons to provide any information that may be able to assist them by calling the Negril police 876-957-4268, the police 119 emergency number, or the nearest police station.

The development came a day after two other suspected suicides, then in St Mary and St Andrew, which led the police to issue a public appeal on Sunday.

In the appeal, the police urged persons who may be suffering from mental health issues, including depression, to seek help.

The appeal said the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) offers counselling services through its Domestic Violence Intervention Centres located at the Constant Spring and Matilda’s Corner police stations, both in St Andrew.

The centres are said to be staffed by trained professionals who are able to do evaluations and make recommendations as necessary.

The aim of the centres is said to be to provide help for persons affected by domestic violence, however, they were recommended as good points of contact for any person who may need help dealing with a mental health issue.

The JCF said the appeal comes against the background of several incidents involving suicides in recent times.

In the St Mary incident on Friday, a woman is suspected to have killed herself by ingesting a pesticide.

She reportedly also attempted to kill her three-year-old son by feeding him some of the poisonous substance.

According to investigators, information gathered so far indicates that the woman, who has been identified as 29-year-old Racquel Sommerville of Orangefield in the parish, may have been suffering from depression.

The child is said to have so far survived the poisoning, and is in stable condition at hospital.

Domestic issues are believed to have played a role in an incident on Whitehall Avenue in St Andrew on Friday, which left two persons dead. They are Suzan Puranda, otherwise called ‘Suzie’, of Whitehall Avenue, and 49-year-old Gary Puran of Chestervale Avenue, Kingston 20, who were reportedly at home on Whitehall Avenue, when an argument developed between them.

Investigators believe that Puran, who is a licensed firearm holder, shot Puranda and then shot himself.

“Incidents like these are usually precipitated by several signs, and the police are urging persons not to ignore signals, and to seek help for friends and/or family members as soon as possible. Persons can make enquires at their local clinic or contact the Mental Health Unit of the Ministry of Health. The police also stand ready to help in any way possible,” the JCF appeal urged.

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