WOODGROVE, Trelawny — The normally peaceful farming community of Woodgrove in southern Trelawny was plunged into mourning yesterday morning when a farmer killed his two daughters before taking his own life.
Police said an enraged Kenville Mullings, 33, cut the throats of his two daughters — Kimocoya, four, and K-alee, two — after a recent, heart-rending separation from their mother, Kelly-Ann Smith, with whom he had a relationship for more than seven years.
According to a distraught Smith, who struggled to come to grips with the tragic loss of her "two babies", last Thursday she ended the relationship with Mullings, left their Trelawny home and took her two daughters to live with her mother in Coleyville, Manchester.
Smith said Mullings tricked one of his friends into lending him his motor car after telling him that his daughters were sick and that he had to go and see them. He drove to Coleyville Monday evening and collected the little girls. He, however, returned minutes after 1:00 yesterday morning and called Smith, informing her he had returned the two infants.
It was reported that when she went to lift her daughters from the vehicle, Mullings attacked her and held a machete to her throat.
Smith's mother, who was alerted by her daughter's screams, went to her assistance and hurled stones at Mullings, one of which smashed the car's windscreen. Mullings reportedly sped off with the two little girls. But shortly after, the distraught mother was called and informed that her two little girls were killed and that her ex-lover had committed suicide.
Mullings' body was found hanging from the roof of his house, while the older girl was found lying prostrate on the floor in a pool of blood with her throat slashed. During a subsequent search, the body of the younger child was discovered in the yard, covered with a jacket just outside a building which was used as a bathroom.
There was a trail of blood that led from the bathroom to a tree on the premises where it is believed that Mullings slit his younger daughter's throat.
"...Him present himself up there (Coleyville) and take mi baby dem and kill dem," said a grieving Smith.
"I told him he must move on with his life and I will move on with my own," she said in reference to the break-up.
Yesterday morning, the grim looks etched on the faces of the scores of residents converged on the scene showed that something had gone horribly wrong.
Both the elderly and youthful community members expressed shock, saying that they did not expect Mullings to commit such a brutal act as they recounted the loving relationship the farmer had with his daughters.
"They were always seen together. Sometimes he has the littler one around his shoulder as he held the other one by her hand," an elderly woman told the Jamaica Observer.
"God Almighty! What kind a demon possessed him?" one man questioned.
"Our hearts go out to the family. We are very sad to see it. But we just encourage people when they have difficulties and problems and don't know how to deal with it, just contact somebody who they have confidence and trust in, like a pastor or counsellor," said Councillor/Caretaker Desmond Smith (JLP, Lorimers Division), who was among the scores of persons who converged on the scene.
Rev Owen Watson, head of the Victim Support Unit in Trelawny, said he had spoken with the mother of the girls and was planning a community meeting to address issues of dealing with domestic disputes.
"If he (Mullings) knew how to deal with the challenges he was facing, the outcome would have very likely been different," said Rev Watson.