(JAMAICA OBSERVER) — Family members of slain Woman District Constable Mellissa Edwards-Whyte were not aware that she was having marital troubles.
They are only now replaying events in their heads that might have led to the vicious killing of the 43-year-old whose dismembered body was discovered in the house she shared with husband Barrington Whyte in Duhaney Park, St Andrew, who is now on the run.
The two were married for four years, Edwards-Whyte’s brother told the Jamaica Observer yesterday as family members gathered in the blood-stained house.
The police had finished gathering evidence, but the hurt felt by the woman’s loved ones was too much for anyone to scrub stains from the discoloured floor.
Edwards-Whyte did not respond when brother Prince Cooper visited, although he knew she was home. Minutes later, the gentleman forced open the grille to discover that his sister was in pieces in a pool of blood.
A family member wailed when she recalled hearing that Edwards-Whyte had been killed. She was a door away from where the gruesome murder took place.
“Nobody hear it. The man lock up the place with her and mussi lick her in her head. Jesus, have mercy! From morning when mi get the news mi nuh stop cry. Lord, God, Mellissa dead. Barry kill her. Lord, God, Barry kill her. The room full of pure blood. A clothes mi see them spread pon it,” the woman, who identified herself as Edwards-Whyte’s cousin said in anguish.
Edwards-Whyte’s body was discovered shortly after 8:00 pm Saturday.
“We don’t know immediately what triggered it, but we know that something developed and him chop her to pieces. Him chop her up, chop her up real bad. It’s really bad inside there (house),”said Marlon Wright, the victim’s other brother.
“Wi never see any signs. None, none, none. We never see no domestic abuse, no domestic problems; we never see nothing of the sort. If it was there it was well hidden,” he added.
He described his brother-in-law to the Observer as a jovial man who is not the type to fuss about issues. Wright said his brother-in-law was carefree and was a problem-solver.
“Every time me and him meet him always have some political joke. Around the family he is alright. Him don’t have any problem with anybody in the family. Nobody had problems with his side of the family. That’s just it,” the man said.
He described his older sister as mild-mannered.
“My sister is the type of person who, if you have an argument with her, was always willing to take the lower seat. She was never the person to tell you that your eyes are red. Never! She was very quiet, soft-spoken and caring. She always look out for us. If me and her get in an argument and mi go around the corner and come back, she just say ‘Lawd, galang weh you a go, mi nuh inna nuh argument with you’,” Wright said.
The mother of three, who served in the Jamaica Constabulary Force for approximately eight years, had phoned one of her twin daughters Tracy Morris at 7:24 pm to let her know she could collect her dinner.
“It was 8:40 [pm] when I finished serving medication and my cousin’s girlfriend called me saying that I needed to come home. She didn’t tell me what it was about but by the time I was halfway my sister called,” Morris said.
She told the Observer that she had a close relationship with her mother and that the two were like best friends. The news was shocking, but Morris harbours her own theory as to what caused her mother’s death.
“She didn’t do anything. They didn’t have a quarrel. They didn’t talk. He didn’t want to talk. They just said ‘morning’ and ‘bye’. He goes to work; she goes to work. There was no communication, but there was jealousy,” the nurse said.
“I didn’t see it coming. I never see it. He showed no signs of anger. He was OK. It’s a surprise. She told me she was cooking chicken and barbecue pork. I was going to pick it up and pick her up. She was my best friend. I am devastated,” she added.
In the meantime, Minister of National Security Dr Horace Chang and Commissioner of Police Major General Antony Anderson both condemned the murder of the constable in news releases, yesterday.
Chang said Edwards-Whyte’s killing was unfortunate and deeply saddening.
“The incidents of domestic violence and resultant fatal outcomes are troubling and reprehensible. Particularly, the murder of this woman, a district constable who pledged to protect and serve the Jamaican people, is an intolerable and cowardly act,” he said.
At the same time, the commissioner, in expressing his condolence said: “It is unfortunate that domestic violence has robbed us of another promising talent, Woman District Constable Mellissa Edwards-Whyte was met with such cruelty and callousness and no effort will be spared in bringing closure to this matter.”
Commissioner Anderson said that the chaplaincy and Community Safety and Security Branch have been instructed to provide all the necessary support to colleagues and friends of Edwards-Whyte.