August 7, 2012
Vincentian woman killed in Barbados

Tue, Aug 7. 2012

Police in Barbados are treating the unnatural death of Vincentian national Laurette Diana “Junie” Skeete, 54, as foul play, after she was discovered in her home at Marchfield, St Philip, around 8:20 a.m. on Saturday with a wire around her neck.{{more}}

Authorities report Skeete was found by her daughter 25-year-old Sherris Lewis. Reports indicate Lewis called for her mother, but hearing no response, went into her room and discovered Skeete lying on the floor.

Lewis then ran next door to neighbours Mark Browne and Cathy Sayers for help. The trio returned to Skeete’s house but found no signs of life.

In an interview later, Lewis said she was working nearby and came home around 1 a.m. She said her mother’s boyfriend Anthony Francis opened the door for her, which was not unusual, and she went to sleep.

On awaking, she said she saw her mother’s work shoes, which she thought was strange, as her mother would usually be gone to work by that time; so she called her on her cellphone, but got no answer.

This too was unusual, she said. So she called out for Skeete and went into her room.

It was there she saw her mother lying on the floor, still clad in her work clothes. She said Francis was nowhere to be found and had not been seen since.

“She was my mother and my father; she was everything to me,” a despondent Lewis said, unable to say more.

A tearful Sayers said Skeete was a lively person who often went out partying with them.

Skeete’s sister Winifred “Shirley” Small described the deceased as a “very hard-working, loving and caring person” who had a lot of friends.

“Junie worked at Hannah Plantation. She loved field work and she liked to party, but only once in a while with relatives or close friends,” she said.

Small said she was at home when she received the terrible news.

“My cell ring and it was my daughter who told me my sister died; so I came right over here. I can’t describe how I feel right now,” she said.

Skeete, who is originally from New Prospect, lived with Lewis and Lewis’ children ten-year-old Shaelah Lewis and two-year-old Joshua Carrington.

Laurette, a mother of three, left St Vincent about 20 years ago, her mother Ina Lewis told SEARCHLIGHT. Ina said Laurette was the third of her seven children.

(Reporting also from Barbados Nation)