18-Year-old Found Dead in Bathroom; Voices Inside her Head

RELATIVES of 19-year-old Afeliah Battiste are today wishing they had paid closer attention or sought psychiatric help for her when she recently began exhibiting what they describe as strange behaviour.

On March 29, while at home in Kintyre, St Andrew, Battiste's grandmother Charmaine McDonald stumbled upon the teen who hanged herself inside a bathroom.

She died leaving a four-year-old son behind. On Wednesday, which was exactly one week since the incident, Battiste's mother, Terri-Ann Isaacs, and her grandmother Charmaine were still bewildered and distraught.

Pain was written over the face of McDonald while Isaacs appeared to zone out from time to time during an interview with the Jamaica Observer. "I would agree that access to systems where people can express dem feelings is important.

She never talked bout hearing voices until the 27th of March. Mi never know what to say or do. If she constantly came and said she was hearing voices, I would try to go a little further with it," Isaacs, the mother of the teen, explained.

March 27, just two days before her death, Battiste complained to her mother about hearing strange sounds inside the house. "The Monday night she came in and said, 'You nuh hear that?' I asked her what she was talking about. She said she heard knocking.

Then she said she was hearing other sounds and then she went around to her room. "On the 29th she came into my room and was looking at cuts on her hand and said, 'These things that I do are some weird things'. She left my room after that. I was in my room on the phone when my mother went to use the bathroom.

When she go, she saw Afeliah hang up inna di bathroom. "My mother told me to go and look.

When I went I saw that it was true, I couldn't manage. I saw her tongue pushing out and I did not know how to get her down.

She was all right when she was growing up. She gave a little problem yes, like she would run away but when we get her back, she would be good again," the mother explained. McDonald, however, said although Battiste did not grow up with her, she loved her granddaughter.

During the Observer's visit, McDonald kept holding her head between her legs, only lifting it when asked a question. "I feel real bad," she said.

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