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Slain woman’s mother happy her killer is dead


CLARENDON, Jamaica — Sylvia McKay, the mother of Tasheika McKay whose throat was slashed by her boyfriend Markland Hayles on Sunday afternoon, says she is relieved at police reports that he had taken his own life.

“Mi feel a likkle better when me hear seh him hang. At least me and his mother will feel the same pain,” she told the Jamaica Observer late yesterday. “That family can go through what I go through if dem love him like how me love Tasheika.”

She said she was yet to have a meal since she had learned of her 25-year-old’s brutal death. The young woman had been eight months pregnant. McKay theorised that she had been attacked while she slept.

“I know the guy good, you affi say a mi house him get up out of go kill mi daughter. But I think him attack her in her sleep because she woulda fight back, him couldn’t kill her if she never in her sleep,” said the grieving mother.

Yesterday, as the country was still coming to grips with the news that the police had to fire shots in the air to ward off an angry mob that wanted to mete out its own justice on Hayles after his girlfriend’s murder, word came that he had killed himself while in lock-up. McKay immediately sought confirmation.

“Mi go straight a May Pen a police station go ask the police and dem say yes and dem tell me what him use which is his merino and something from the toilet bowl,” she said.

But Hayles’ mother Clair Bailey is adamant that her son did not take his own life.

“He is my child and I know he did not do it. I don’t think he did that. I felt bad when I heard of the tragedy yesterday and I’m still not feeling good,” she told the Observer. “Mi can’t feel good no matter what, all when him reach inna him grave me can’t feel good because him dead. Everybody is grieving right now, everybody in the district — even the baby— a grieve.”

INDECOM has since launched an investigation into Hayles’ death.

According to the police, after being treated for minor injuries inflicted by an angry mob Hayles was placed alone in a cell, in observance of COVID-19 prevention protocols. Police theorise he took his life during the two-hour window between 9:00 and 11:00 Monday morning. He was expected to have been charged with McKay’s murder, having confessed to killing her in a caution statement on Sunday. According to Observer sources, Hayles had accused McKay of infidelity, and questioned the paternity of the child she was carrying.

Her body was discovered on Sunday by her four-year-old daughter. The child reportedly went next door and told McKay, her maternal grandmother, that her mother was motionless and unresponsive. When the adults checked, the pregnant mother was found on her bed with her throat slashed. According to McKay, the four-year-old is now showing signs of trauma.

“Anytime she take up the phone and see her mother picture is like she turn fool, she just a laugh and a mek up noise; she wasn’t like that [before],” said McKay, who will now assume full responsibility for her grandchild. “She understands what is happening and so I took her to the doctor today and she got a tonic. She is now eating.”

McKay has also had to seek medical care and has been advised to seek counselling to help with her grief.

Counsellors were in the community yesterday offering support to relatives and other residents.

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