X

Who Killed Shante Claxton? by Merv-Ann Thompson

No-one charged in 15-yr-old’s murder Almost one week after the gruesome discovery of the body of 15-year-old Shante Claxton in a school bathroom, and the nation is demanding her killer be brought to justice soon. Claxton, of Jessups Village, left home Saturday (Sept 6) morning, headed for church. She was last seen by her father after 9am. She never arrived at church. What happened on her way to worship remains a chilling mystery. When she failed to return home around 1pm, Claxton’s mother began asking around, trying to find her child. According to Police PRO, Inspector Lyndon David, a group of residents and officers began searching the village and surrounding areas, looking into places where the teen might have been or could have gone. The teen’s body was discovered at around 4:30pm that day in a bathroom stall at the St. Thomas’ Primary School. Persons on the scene before it was taken over by police said there were certain indicators that the child had been sexually assaulted. Several family members were allowed inside the crime scene while onlookers were kept outside the school premises by crime scene tape and officers. Claxton’s body was removed sometime after 8pm. How she met her untimely death also remains a mystery. Some say she was strangled and also received a blow to the head. Police await a forensic pathologist’s arrival in the Federation this weekend to definitively determine cause of death. Three persons of interest were taken into police custody since the discovery- two on September 7 and one on the evening of September 8. One was later released but two remain . One of the “persons of interest”is a convicted rapist who was recently released from prison. Up until press time, no charges had been laid against any the persons in custody. Claxton was described as being small in body and a very quiet young girl. The circumstances of her death so enraged the Nevisian public, persons went in search of one of the suspects the night her body was discovered. CoP Walwyn issued a release calling for calm and pledging the full support of the police force in solving the heinous crime. He expressed condolences to the family. “Please call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-8477 and you do not have to give your name. Some of you have Whatsapped me with the name of a suspect and I assure you that the police are out looking for him right now…I pledge the full resources of the police force and if needed, I will seek the help of the FBI in bringing this person to justice. As a people, this killing has touched the souls of all of us; this is not the time to keep quiet,”he appealed. Nevis’ Acting Premier Hon. Mark Brantley also extended condolences to Claxton’s family. He said her death has impacted the whole island as she was a beacon of hope. “I was extremely saddened to learn of the tragic death of Shante Claxton, a young student that represented the future of our island. As a father myself it hurts me deeply and I can only imagine the pain and hurt being experienced by the immediate and extended family.”He continued, “This tragic event violates the sacred values we as a Nevisian society hold dear. Our children are our island’s greatest asset. We must at all times and at all cost protect them. I appeal to our Nevisian community to support the police and assist them in every way to ensure that the family of young Shante obtains swift justice.”Hon. Brantley, who is currently Acting Premier, visited the CSS on Sept 8, as the school opened for the new school year on such a tragic note. Claxton was a student at the CSS. He informed The Observer that counsellors were on hand at both the high school and the St. Thomas Primary. Speaking to an emotional Edson Elliott, Principal of CSS, shortly after the school’s first general assembly, he told of how moved he was at Claxton’s passing. “Shante was a very pleasant student who followed the rules and regulations of the institution and gave very little trouble, if any at all. She’s the type of student who you would have grown close to,”he said. He said many had understandably not yet come to grips with what happened to the model student. “I believe that it would sink in over a period of time. Like for me, it started very slowly, but I began to feel it when I had to face coming to school this morning,”he said. “Certainly, she would be missed by the Charlestown Secondary School.”The three counsellors of the CSS have been lending their support and assistance to students who have been traumatized by the killing, including Claxton’s best friend. Elliott said that students were encouraged to discuss how they feel. Teachers and counsellors approached the students instead of waiting for them to seek them out in order to “create that atmosphere that would allow them to be comfortable in speaking openly about it and dealing with the after-effect”. On Wednesday, Prime Minister Hon. Dr. Denzil Douglas outlined the far-reaching effect of the crime as he too extended condolences to the tragedy-struck family. “It is not only Shante and her family who have been harmed. The entire nation has been harmed by this horrific act…I call on every single person who might have the slightest bit of information or insight as to what might have happened, no matter where you may reside in the Federation, to invest yourself fully and completely in the effort to identify, apprehend, and capture the person or persons who committed this unspeakable act,”PM Douglas said in a statement. A candlelight vigil was held last evening (Sept 11) in her honour, with those mourning and paying their respect walking from the Jessups gas station to the St. Thomas Primary School. Nevis now records its 3 rd murder for 2014 and the federation’s 11 th . The Observer extends sincere condolences to the family and friends of Shante Claxton.

" Editor : ."