Seven children, the youngest of whom turned four yesterday, are forced to live the rest of their lives without their mother, who was, on Monday, brutally murdered just steps away from their home in Hampton Court, St Thomas.
According to reports, 36-year-old Kerron Peckoo had just locked up the bar where she worked and was walking home at about 11 o'clock on Monday night when she was attacked by a man who allegedly slashed her throat and stabbed her in the face and upper body.
Nimoy Bailey, Peckoo's oldest child, who is a fifth-form student of the Happy Grove High School in Portland, told The Gleaner that she witnessed her mother's brutal ordeal.
"I was inside reading and I heard singing. I picked up mommy's voice, so I got up to open the door. By the time I reach the door, I hear she bawling out for murder. I panicked, and when I opened the door, I saw a man over her doing something. I don't know if is stab or chop, but he was on top of her.
I rushed back in the house for a machete and when I came out, I saw her on the ground a bleed," she explained as she fought back tears.
Bailey said that she rushed inside for a towel and wrapped her mother in it as she shouted for help.
"She said 'Just know mi love unuh (children). Tell your father to take care of the baby for me'. I began panicking again and kept telling her to hold on, just hold on," she said, adding that her mother named her attacker before she died.
By this time, the distraught teen was overcome by the hurt and began crying.
Kayan Brown, resident of Hampton Court, who also accompanied Peckoo to the hospital, recounted the woman's final moments.
'MI NAH GO MEK IT'
"After mi hear the shouting, mi run up there and grab her up and we put her in the van, but by the time we reach Leith Hall (less than 10km from the hospital), she start beat the van and her body start flick up. Then she seh: 'Mi nah go mek it. Mi a guh dead'. Then her eye just start roll over," Brown said.
The woman was taken to the Princess Margaret Hospital, where she was pronounced dead.
The St Thomas police have since accosted the father of Peckoo's youngest child, who they say is to be questioned and charged in connection with the murder.
It is also reported that the two had a matter before the court with regard to child maintenance.
Peckoo, known as Coolie, is remembered as a jovial woman who put her children first.
Zodie Thomas and Claudette Clarke, teachers at the Golden Grove Primary and Infant School, told The Gleaner that two of Peckoo's children are to sit the Grade Six Achievement Test in a few months.
"She was very involved in her children's school life, and although they couldn't make it to school every day because of financial problems, she tried her best with them and kept in touch with us.
"She even wanted to better herself as she was a part of the Jamaica Foundation For Lifelong Learning programme that we offer in the evenings. She just wanted to be the best for her children," they said.