(JAMAICA OBSERVER) – THE brazen murder of a British couple last Friday sent shock waves throughout the quiet farming community of Mount Pleasant in Portland, leaving some to speculate about the motive for the killings.
Returnees Florence and Halford Anderson were both found dead on Friday morning, after residents discovered Halford’s body near Mount Pleasant Primary School under a tree and Florence’s in their fire-bombed home with gunshot wounds to the upper body.
The couple, who is said to be married for more than 50 years and who recently returned to the island, was building their retirement home, Jamaica Observer North & East has learnt.
Police inspector in charge of operations in Portland Throyville Haughton, during a press briefing on Saturday, said “the police were called to the scene of the double murder” involving 71-year-old British citizen Florence and 74-year-old Halford, a returnee from Manchester in England.
“We are making all the necessary steps to bring the matter to a closure. We are working with the Area Two team and personnel from Kingston. We are trying to solve this crime as quickly as possible. We are asking anyone with information to pass this on to the police by texting or calling (876) 322-9263, as we seek to bring this matter to a closure,” he said.
When Observer North & East visited the community, residents described the couple as “sincere”.
“We don’t feel good as they are somebody near and dear to us. They were very kind and loving people. I don’t know what to say as this is something very terrible that has happened here. Never hear anything thing bad about them. They worked in foreign, save them money, and come back to build their house,” Ruben Anderson told Observer North & East.
A woman, who gave her name as Myrtle, stated that the community is shaken up by the double murder.
“It’s not pleasing to us. It’s heart-rending. It shake up the whole community. I couldn’t cook the evening when I hear. Mr Anderson is such a quiet, nice man. Him come back to his community and building back the area. It is very bad for the community. What could cause anybody to kill them?” she said, struggling to hold back tears.
Halford’s niece, Sharon was distraught.
“They did everything for everybody in the community. I can’t tell why they murder them the way they murder them — like two dogs, or two cows; I don’t know why. They are always helping. When Uncle Charlie (Halford) will say no, Gayle (Florence) not saying no. They always giving and this is how they killed them. They employed a number of people and a lot of youths.
“He went away in May and came back the first of June for three weeks. He went away because he didn’t have enough money in his account because someone took out most of his money out of his account — all of the money out of his account. They came back with some information with things that was bought with their card and I think that is what caused their death. The police was investigating and it sound like they had someone to be picked up last week. The police slowness caused their death,” the woman claimed.
Other residents voiced their disgust, stressing that the couple did not deserve to die the way they did.
“Mi hope the police catch whoever responsible. It nuh right; a good people them,” a man said, while another stated that the community will not be the same.
The double murder comes two months after British returnee Delroy Walker was brutally murdered at his home in Tower Isle, St Mary.