Kimberly De Leon laid to rest
The Minor Basilica of the Immaculate Conception in Castries was filled to capacity on Monday afternoon as mourners gathered to bid farewell to Kimberly De Leon, who was shot dead at her home on Chef Harry Drive, Morne Fortune, on 30 October. In attendance were former work colleagues from Kimberly's stints at the Customs Department, Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Education, as well as government ministers Gale Rigobert and Mary Isaac. Also present were classmates from the Castries Comprehensive Secondary School class of '95, and representatives from the Carmen Rene Memorial School, attended by her two young children.
In his tribute, Kimberly's father Worrel St. Ange, who has for several years resided in the United States, recalled the last time he spoke to her, saying they made plans to organise a family outing on his next visit to Saint Lucia. He said he asked her at the time whether her divorce and child custody battle had gone through.
“So my next question,” said St. Ange, “was what are you still doing living in the house? There's too much tension living in a house with a man you're divorcing; it doesn't make any sense, you got to go.
"So at the end of the conversation I said, 'I love you to death.'”
Mr. St. Ange said Kimberly had her sad moments but she would never show them. She was able to balance home and work, never bringing her problems from home to her job. “What I think she didn't know,” he continued “was how to separate herself from the abuse she was going through. She was pretty cool at putting that facade on her face. She would be smiling at work but deep in her heart she was unhappy, but she never showed it.”
He urged all women in attendance not to tolerate any man who abuses them, whether mentally, physically or emotionally.
In closing, he stated: “She's dead. What we have to do now, we all got to move on.” Fighting back tears, he paused. “After today you will never see her again. All you're going to have are memories of her. She's gone, forever. Don't think you're going to see her again, it's over. Kimberly's dead. Now, we seek justice.”
His tribute ended abruptly when Kimberly's mother collapsed and had to be transported out of the cathedral on a stretcher. She was taken to hospital and released the following day.
Kimberly was interred at the Choc cemetery in Castries. There have been no arrests in connection with her death. Meanwhile sources close to Sergeant De Leon say that although Kimberly had started divorce proceedings, “they had not gone very far”.
On Monday, before a packed cathedral, Kimberly De Leon’s father, Worrel St. Ange, recalled their last conversation.