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Bodies of missing boys found

Kaydie Palmer (second right), mother of Alex Brown whose body – along with that of his friend seven-year-old Javani Brown – was fished from the Martha Brae River yesterday, is comforted by friends.

MARTHA BRAE, Falmouth — The search for the two boys who went missing from their Zion community in Trelawny last Saturday, ended in tragedy yesterday when their decomposing, nude bodies were fished from the Martha Brae River.

The bodies of Alex Brown, 10, and seven-year-old Javani Brown were seen floating in the river by a man who was working nearby. They were last seen alive, playing together near their homes on Saturday afternoon.

“I was sweeping the place when I saw a little thing in the water. I thought it was a dead animal but when I got closer I saw flies. When I got even closer, I realised it resembled a body, so I called another youth and asked him if it was a body and him say ‘yes’, the man, who identified himself only as Valin, told the Jamaica Observer.

An alarm was raised, which drew scores of persons to the scene. The police were summoned and a subsequent search of the river led to the discovery of the body of the younger boy nearby.

Items of clothing, said to belong to the boys, were found on a section of the river bank.

Alex was a grade six student of Falmouth All-Age School, while Javani was in grade one at Hague Primary.


There were many speculations by angry residents as to how the boys died. Many surmised that the boys were sodomised then killed and their bodies dumped in the river. Persons claimed that Javani’s intestines were protruding through the anus.

However, commander for the Area One Police Division, Assistant Commissioner of Police Devon Watkis, said there were no signs of violence and that the deaths appeared to be an accident.

“It seems it is one of those unfortunate incidents that they seemingly went swimming unsupervised,” he told the Observer during a telephone interview.

He, however, said he will await the results of the post-mortem.

“Once we heard [that they were missing], we launched a criminal investigation consistent with the missing persons policy. We will await confirmation from pathologists, in terms of the postmortem, just to be sure,” he said.

The senior policeman also used the opportunity to appeal to parents to supervise their children, “to avoid a likely recurrence” of the horrible incident.

Last moments

Yesterday, Javani’s father recounted the last moments with his son. He said on Saturday morning he prepared breakfast for Javani and his brother, then he sat with them outside, before going inside the house.

He recalled that on going back outside the house, he saw neither of his boys. He went to Alex’s house, but neither the boys nor Alex was there.

“I came down by the river and me watch the guys swimming and check to see for them and did not see them,” he recounted.

The police were informed and several days of searching ensued.

He said given that the boys were not at the river on Saturday, he was baffled by yesterday’s discovery.

“It surprise me now to see them there so. It surprise me because me was here Saturday evening and me was looking, and when I was here I did not see none of them,” the distraught father said.

Meanwhile, Alex’s distressed mother, Kaydie Palmer, was too overcome with grief to speak with the media. She had to be consoled by other residents. (Observer)

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