Did taxi driver know what really happened?
The following was first published yesterday at www.jamaica-gleaner.com as part of the threemonth special investigation headlined ‘A community filled with fear’ into the disappearance of four people at Lime Hall, St Ann, on November 13, 2015.
AMONG THE several persons interrogated by police during their investigations into the disappearance of four people at Arthurs Mount in Lime Hall, St Ann, just over a year ago, was David Hudson, a popular taxi driver who offered a 24-hour service.
However, he would be off the road for months at a time because of a mental disorder. The police apparently found nothing to link him with either the fire at the Arthurs Mount Estate or the disappearances.
But Hudson, who, it is claimed, often transported After Dark members, was reported to have been saying around town that he knew what took place on the night of November 13, 2015, at Arthurs Mount.
According to one report, while drinking at a bar in Lime Hall on New Year’s Day 2016, he claimed that on the night of the fire, gang members had chartered his vehicle to transport pimento from the Arthurs Mount Estate. Hudson, it is said, claimed to have personally witnessed seven-year-old Rimeka Haynes being forced to perform a sex act with one of the gangsters. The little girl and the other three missing persons – 57-year-old farmer Joseph Lynch, his nephew 43-year-old Lascelle Lynch, and Rimeka’s adoptive mother, domestic helper Ruth Lawrence – he insisted, were all dead. He, however, never provided any details and there was some conjecture that his remarks were in part the result of his illness.
A man named Damion ‘Iron Man’ Campbell was also reported to be saying openly in Lime Hall that he knew what had happened at the Arthurs Mount Estate.
On January 5, 2016, Hudson and Campbell were shot dead in separate incidents in the town.
Roshad ‘Shut’ Moss, the purported leader of the After Dark gang, was subsequently arrested for Campbell’s murder. The police never revealed what caused them to finger Moss.
Campbell’s killing and Moss’s arrest appeared to unleash infighting in the After Dark gang, with factions lining up behind supposed supporters of Moss and others in favour of another leader.
On April 11, 2016, another alleged gang member, 20-year-old Rojay Bender, the son a policeman, was shot dead in Lime Hall by two men riding a motorcycle. Bender is believed to 40 Winners $817 ea. have played a role in the disappearance of the Arthurs Mount four.
As violence and fear enveloped Lime Hall, Maud Myrie-Miller, a life-long resident of the town and respected justice of the peace, told The Gleaner: “It was a shocker! Something like this happening in Lime Hall was unthinkable when I was a child. This community was always a peaceful place.”
Miller was one of the few residents willing to speak openly about the Arthurs Mount incident. Others talk to reporters only in whispers, if they are in unidentified media house vehicles and preferably out of the community. People fear reprisals.
“I love Joseph (Lynch) so much,” said one church member. She preferred not to be named.
She went on: “He did not deserve this. But I don’t want no one to see me (talking to you). People are afraid of being called informers. Too much has been happening, and you don’t know who is who.”
Some members claim that their fear is heightened by the number of strange men they have noticed in their community in recent times. They are grateful for an increased police presence in the town.
Superintendent Wayne Cameron, who was the divisional commander at the time of the Arthurs Mount incident, believes that the police have done reasonably well at keeping the peace in Lime Hall and their best at investigating whatever crime might have been committed.
He said: “We have tried everything. I am satisfied that we tried everything to find these people. We had the fire service, the scene-ofcrime experts, canine units, forensic lab experts, and we did a three-mile radius search of the property.
“From that incident, things went downhill. We have no information, but we now have the gang leader in custody for breaching his bail condition, which is a testimony to the kind of work we have done. We have done substantial work in dismantling this gang.”
‘IRON MAN’ KNEW WHAT HAPPENED 15 Roshad Moss 4 9 Rojay Bender 14 20 Joseph Lynch STRANGE MEN IN THE COMMUNITY