Rope used to strangle Khanice

The police yesterday said the man charged with murder in the death of 20-year-old Khanice Jackson confessed that he strangled her on Wednesday, March 24, 2021 with a piece of rope, hid her body inside his house in Portmore, St Catherine, went to work, then returned home and disposed of it.

Police theorise that Jackson was killed between 7:00 and 9:00 on the morning of March 24, 2021.

According to Deputy Commissioner of Police Fitz Bailey, who heads the crime portfolio, Robert Fowler, who is now in custody, claimed that he and Jackson had an argument after he lured her to his home.

“Based on what we were told, there was an argument. He got upset and he used a piece of rope to strangle her. A similar piece of rope was found at his house. Our investigation has led us to believe that it happened at his home and the body remained there until he returned from work when he disposed of the body using a Nissan Caravan that he drove,” Bailey said in a video release.

“There was no intimate relationship between the two parties. It was just a pure platonic relationship that existed. Our investigations revealed that Fowler had lured her to his home, under the guise that he had forgotten to take a piece of equipment that was relevant to his trade as a mechanic, and that was how she ended up being at his home in Portmore,” said the crime chief.

The police said their investigations have so far led them to retrieve a number of personal items belonging to Jackson, including her handbag and bank card.

Yesterday, Bailey said that a post-mortem of the body has been ordered, after which a determination will be made on whether additional charges will be laid against Fowler.

“During the investigation, the accused took the officers to a number of locations, including a location somewhere in Portmore, where he indicated that he tried to dispose of the body of the victim but for some reason he actually removed it from that location and took the body to the location where it was discovered. He also took the police to an address in Cross Roads where he claimed that certain items of clothing were disposed of. When the police went and searched, it was not discovered. We believe it was taken away by the garbage collectors,” said Bailey, who stressed that investigations are continuing.

Fowler will appear in court on April 9, 2021 to answer to the charge of murder.

Bailey commended his officers for the swiftness of their investigations, noting that they had spent several hours getting the case file together.

“We will ensure that an airtight case is presented with a level of dispatch and urgency. The outstanding material will be supplied within short order. We are paying special attention to this one, and whatever needs to be fast-tracked, will be fast-tracked, so that justice can be served,” he said.

“Our women must be protected and, as a law enforcement body, we will have to do what is necessary to send the right signal, and we have no doubt that the criminal justice system will send the right signal that we do not tolerate assault on anyone. When you brutally murder our people, the law and the system must send the right message,” Bailey added.

On March 24, Jackson left her home in Independence City, Portmore, St Catherine, for work. She did not turn up and efforts to contact her were unsuccessful. A report was made to Caymanas Police Station about 8:00 pm the same day. A missing person investigation was subsequently opened and two days later her body was found in the vicinity of Dyke Road, Portmore.

Investigations then led police to Cross Roads, Kingston 5, where Fowler was arrested.

Gender Minister Olivia Grange, in an address to the House of Representatives yesterday, called on church leaders to use their pulpit and status to sustain a dialogue within communities about violence against women and girls.

“I ask that they engage our men in dialogue as part of our collective effort to deal with these heinous acts. I beg to see influential men engaging weaker-minded men in conversation so that we can create communities of harmony and peace where our women and girls can live free from fear for their lives,” said Grange.

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