Family’s worst fears realized

A mother and father’s worse nightmare became a painful reality as the mortal remains of their 18-year-old son Devon Prescod washed up at Long Beach, Christ Church this morning.

The grim discovery was made around 5:50 a.m. by a relative, nearly 48 hours after the teenager left home around 9 o’clock on Tuesday morning for what was considered a routine fishing trip.

However, an alarm was sounded by his mother Dalia around 10 o’clock that night when she realized that her third-born, a former student of Princess Margaret, had not returned home.

As the hours slowly drifted by, hopes quickly faded that Devon would ever do so alive.

The pain was very evident in Dalia’s eyes as she leaned on her relatives for support, as she perched on a rock at Long Beach, a short distance from the body which she had earlier identified to be that of her son.

Here, Devon’s mother Dalia (centre) had to be held up by friends Martin Jones (left) and Margaret Yarde after viewing her son’s body.
Here, Devon’s mother Dalia (centre) had to be held up by friends Martin Jones (left) and Margaret Yarde after viewing her son’s body.

The only words the soft spoken mother could muster at the time to reporters were: “I love my son so much [and] I’m glad at least that we find he body so that we could bury it”.

Equally distraught was Devon’s father Julian Bartlett, who was simply too grief-stricken to speak after expressing strong fears yesterday that his son had fallen off the cliff and into the choppy waters while fishing at Sea Rocks, near Paragon, Christ Church.

“I miss him. A feeling tell me he gone, but I just want to find him. I know he gone, but I just want to find him,” he told Barbados TODAY yesterday as a feverish search by family, residents, police and the Barbados Coast Guard had initially come up with nothing more than the teenager’s fishing bucket and rod, which were left behind at Sea Rocks.

However, it was Devon’s uncle Dwayne Bartlett who first noticed a white object floating off Long Beach early this morning.

Initially, he thought it was an animal. However, upon closer inspection, he got the dreaded confirmation that it was indeed his nephew’s remains.

“I went looking for him. I said to the rest, ‘if we don’t find the body now we ain’t going to find he because I know Long Beach well. I surf out here all the time’,” said the surfer of 20 years, who brought the partially decomposed and salt-water affected body ashore.

As the grim news spread, emotions cracked, then broke, much like the angry waves that provided the backdrop to the day’s heart-rending discovery.

The reality proved too much for several family members and friends to bear.

Some cried openly, while others looked on in dismay with grief etched across their faces, as they struggled to come to grips with the loss of the young man they described as one the best youths in the neighbourhood.

One of Devon’s closest mates, whom residents said often went fishing with him and played football with him, collapsed under the pressure of the news and had to be rushed for medical treatment.

“He was a good boy. Ain’t use to interfere with nobody or nothing so. I gine miss he boy. We use to go fishing together and thing and he use to get some big fish,” said another friend.


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