Three years of mis­ery

Mi keep on a ask how is not my son, when we al­ready iden­tify the body? Him did a wear the ex­act slip­pers, shorts, shirt and un­der­pants, but dem say a no him, so is who den?

The Star (Jamaica) - - Front Page - SI­MONE MOR­GAN-LINDO STAR Writer

It has been three years of pain and mis­ery for An­gella Martin, who of­ten wonders if her teenage son Okeem Gold­ing is dead or alive.

The dis­traught Lin­stead, St Cather­ine woman said that her moth­erly in­stinct tells her that he was mur­dered.

Martin, a mar­ket ven­dor, said that she is just seek­ing clo­sure. She thought she had, four days af­ter Okeem dis­ap­peared on July 14, 2017.

A de­com­posed body, wear­ing the clothes she last saw Okeem in be­fore he dis­ap­peared, was found be­hind a house on Chapel Street. The left hand was sev­ered.

“Mi big son go look and tell mi say a him. When dem ready to wrap him up, dem show mi him and mi see di same new slip­pers, shorts, and un­der­pants. Mi couldn’t make out him face ... but mi know a mi son based on the clothes,” she said.

How­ever, a DNA test con­firmed that the body found was not that of the 13-year-old.

“Mi keep on a ask how is not my son, when we al­ready iden­tify the body? Him did a wear the ex­act slip­pers, shorts, shirt and un­der­pants, but dem say a no him, so is who den?” she asked.

She told THE STAR that Okeem, who was a grade-nine stu­dent at McGrath High School in St Cather­ine, had dreams of be­com­ing a sol­dier

“Mi wah see him grave, or some­thing, and just know say a deh so him bury so mi can go look for him. Dat likkle boy was my ev­ery­thing. If mi sick, a him mi see. All mi hair him used to comb for me. Ev­ery­where a mi and him likkle brother. Some­times mi won­der if him still alive. Mi just wah know what hap­pen to mi baby,” she said.

LEFT HOME TO HELP OUT

Martin said Okeem had left their home to help out at a nearby cook­shop, where he and his friends would get a small stipend or food as pay­ment. She, how­ever, grew wor­ried when 8 p.m. passed and he hadn’t re­turned home as usual.

Martin said her wor­ries grew with each pass­ing hour, and she spent the ma­jor­ity of the night search­ing the streets of Lin­stead for him.

“The next morn­ing mi con­tinue search for him. Mi ask him friends, but none a dem say dem nuh see him. Mi all cook the mack­erel and rice whe him did say him want and hope say him soon come, but mi never see him,” she said.

Later that evening, Martin lodged a miss­ing per­son’s re­port at the Lin­stead Po­lice Sta­tion.

“Mi and mi next likkle son start walk the place again and when him get tired, mi put him back in the house and go back out in the late nights again, but still no sign of mi son. One a di time a man see mi and ask mi what mi a do pon di road so late, but mi couldn’t sleep not know­ing where mi son was,” she said. Three years later she is no closer. Martin said that “school time” is the hard­est.

“Mi feel it bad, be­cause mi see say him nuh deh here fi go school. Dur­ing the hol­i­days him would go spend time with we rel­a­tives, so some­times mi just try tell my­self say him gone spend hol­i­day,” Martin added.

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