A murder-suicide in August Town, Kingston, yesterday has left residents and relatives shocked and confused as to why Keiron Beckles would have killed his wife of three years, Alethia Perry, who had just returned to the island on Tuesday.
The couple leaves a nine-year-old daughter behind.
The bodies of the seemingly happy couple were discovered by the police around 10:45 in the morning at their home. Forty-year-old Alethia was found on the bed with her hands across her chest, while her husband, also 40, was found hanging from an electrical cord in a closet.
Police said the preliminary findings suggest that the wife was strangled by her husband who subsequently hanged himself.
Beckles’ mother, who did not want to be identified, said she was shocked when she heard the news from her sister because even though her son had “issues” he was very quiet, and enjoyed a wonderful relationship with his wife.
“They had issues, yeah, and he was stressed and he would call me and tell me his issues; he would say ‘Mommy don’t bother tell them about it’. But sometimes, I would tell his sisters and then they would talk to him,” she said.
She added: “Sometimes when we finish talking I would tell him not to go and do anything foolish and him would say ‘Mommy, you think me a idiot’, and I would just say, me just a tell you.”
According to the woman, her son showed no signs of stress when they spoke this week on the phone about his wife returning to the island from the United States.
“When him say she come me feel good and I said to my daughter-in-law that I feel good that she come because sometimes I know that when he is around there him lonely. He sounded so upbeat and told me when she come, ‘I will let you talk to her’,” said the mother.
It is believed that the wife was filing for her husband to go the United Sates, where their daughter, Karissa, and the wife’s two pre-marital children live.
Beckles’ mother noted that every time the wife returned to Jamaica she would bring her daughter but said she was not sure why the wife didn’t bring her this time. She believes that maybe if the daughter was present the situation could have been different.
A next-door neighbour and close friend of the husband, Lenworth Ellis, while confirming that Beckles did not make trouble, claimed however that he was “controlling”, but said he was in disbelief when he heard about the suicide-murder.
“Me can’t believe it. It is the first time something like this is happening in this area (87 August Town Rd). Him did controlling and from him get married things start to change up. Him did nice at first but then him start to change to his friends. If she never love him, she would never come back down and marry her after all these years,” said Ellis.
A cousin of the sister, meanwhile, said he didn’t suspect any dispute was going on between the couple.
“Anytime she comes it is niceness for him — them walking in the park and these things. Up and down the happiest couples in the people’s eyes. Me never expect this. Dem no have no altercation on the road. Everybody mash-up right yah now,” said the cousin.
Meanwhile, Inspector Stephen Taylor says the murders have put the violent death toll in the August Town community at seven for 2017 — all said to be caused by domestic violence. The inspector assured that the police were doing their best to educate citizens on domestic violence.
“We are doing community meetings, community patrols and others. But, when people have these situations they are reluctant to take their cases to the police,” said the inspector.