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9-year-old murdered on way home from school

The screams of the mother of nine-year-old Nikita 'Jojo' Noel could be heard in the darkness of the night as funeral directors from Doyley's Funeral Home removed her daughter's body from a dirt track leading to their home.

Nikita, a student of Esher Primary School, is believed to have been been raped and strangled to death in the quiet community of Kew district, Lucea, Hanover, as she made her way home from school. Her body was found in bushes about 7:30 p.m. yesterday by a search party comprising community members and the police.

Nordia Edwards, the child's mother, said she left for school just after 7 a.m. yesterday and was expected to be back home by 4:30 p.m. Edwards said that Nikita is not the type to loiter on the roads, and so she became concerned when she did not see her at 5 p.m. She telephoned the driver who is contracted to transport her to and from school, and was told that Nikita had already been dropped off.

"My daughter nuh guh people yard. When she go school, from the driver drops her off she comes straight home," the mother said.

Edwards told THE STAR that she began making checks in the community if residents had seen her daughter. She said that one child told her that the jovial nine-year-old was indeed dropped off by the driver. She said that child related that Nikita 'hit me on mi hand and say tomorrow'. The mother said she made further checks in the community but no one had seen the child.

"When me see after 5 o'clock dem time deh, me seh no supmn nuh right. And then me start feel me belly bottom a pain me," Edwards related.

She went to the police station to report her daughter missing, and her mother, with the help of community members, began combing the area in search of the child. On the way back from the police station, Edwards heard a harrowing scream from her mother. It was not what she expected.

"I heard loud screaming and when me come up here me see her," Edwards said.