By Kimone Witter
The mother of eight-year-old Talia Thompson, who was raped and murdered in Discovery Bay, St. Ann on Saturday, allegedly by her neighbour, says she is shocked by who has been accused of the attack.
Jessica Taylor says the accused is a close friend of the family.
Speaking with journalists Monday morning at Discovery Bay Primary and Infant school, where Talia was a student, Ms Taylor said she is in a state of confusion at losing her child in this manner and the breach of trust by the accused.
"When I just heard, I didn't know how to accept it. But coming to the school this morning and seeing all the other kids out [but] she's not here, you know, like it just give me back this feeling to say alright then, this is true. But, it really hurts to know that it comes from somebody that I trust that much - a caregiver for her as well, someone that I was least expecting this from.
"He was a brother to me, a brother that I didn't have, and to know that he's the one that take Talia's life, it's really, honestly, it just set me back. I don't know the way forward from this but I'm just trying to put out my best," the mother said.
While it hurts to know her daughter is gone, Ms Taylor said she is grateful for the life her daughter lived, "the impact that she left on others and the community at large".
Principal of York Castle High School, Raymond Treasure, who participated in grief counselling sessions at Discovery Bay Primary, said the authorities cannot afford to give up on children, who are seemingly under attack.
"The adults in Jamaica, the agencies that are there to protect children, will just have to do something to ensure that the children are safe. It can't be that children who would normally walk home or they are at home playing with adults, we now have to start thinking that well, we should just lock them away. That is impossible. It is highly possible we will have to include some of these things in our curriculum to make adults more caring because I don't know, we're having a serious situation here in Jamaica," he lamented.
The 27-year-old suspect remains in critical condition in hospital after trying to kill himself.