Young woman found dead at Catty Beach
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March 23, 2012
Young woman found dead at Catty Beach

The wails and cries of mothers, sisters and daughters resounded from the cliffs of Catty Beach, Rose Bank, as funeral home attendants brought the body of 22-year-old Laferne Lockhart from the wooded area where her body was discovered early on the morning of Thursday, March 22.{{more}}

She had gone missing the day before.

Lockhart was last seen in Petit Bordel on Wednesday morning, where she had gone to sell onions and garlic; something she did regularly to earn income for herself and members of her Rose Bank home.

When SEARCHLIGHT arrived at scene, just between Rose Bank and Petit Bordel on the North Leeward coast, her mother Furline Lockhart, father Emanuel Harry, along with some of her siblings, villagers, and police investigators were trying to put the pieces together as to why someone would harm the young woman who was mentally challenged, and described as a friend to all.

Furline said that she left Laferne, the third of seven children, at home washing dishes as she made her way to the lands, and when she returned home, she was told that Laferne had left to sell her produce sometime after seven that morning.

“She didn’t go round Petit Bordel on Tuesday; she tell me Petit Bordel empty because all the people gone cricket, so she will go yesterday (Wednesday).”

“So when I come back, I ain’t see her because I know she usually come back early…. So her father and one of my daughters and my grand (child) went and look for her. When he come back he say he ain’t see her, so I ain’t pleased, so I take some others and went searching and was calling her name and we searched and we enquire… I say this is very funny; something have to be wrong. I didn’t even sleep last night.”

The matriarch said that the search continued early Thursday morning; with more people joining the effort.

Police in the area, who were informed by Harry on Wednesday night that Laferne could not be found, joined in the effort to find the woman, later on Thursday morning.

Just about 24 hours after Laferne was last seen by her mother, her lifeless body was discovered by one of her brothers, who alerted the other searchers of his gruesome find.

Fighting back tears, Harry described his daughter as a kind and friendly individual, who did not deserve to die the way she did; suspecting that she was raped and killed.

He said that he would have preferred if after harming her, she had been left alive.

“She was not a rude person; she was a good girl. I cried through the whole night. I just can’t take what is going on here and whoever do it had no right to do it…. If they been rape she; rape she, but leave she.”

“I don’t know how I will live with this. She was my hand and foot,” Furline added. “It is full time something has to be done about this. They just can’t continue to do this… something have to be done,” she said.

Meanwhile villagers and friends of the family used the opportunity to vent their frustration on a number of incidents taking place in the area.

Last September, 78-year-old Fitz Hughes resident Marion John was discovered in her home; believed raped and killed.

Villagers also complained of their animals being sexually molested and left to die.

Up to press time, no one had been apprehended for Lockhart’s death. Police are investigating.