Aurora woman slain in Jamaica
By Shawn Jeffords ,Toronto Sun
First posted: Thursday, January 02, 2014 07:56 PM EST | Updated: Thursday, January 02, 2014 09:12 PM EST
TORONTO - A 53-year-old Aurora woman was murdered earlier this week in a busy Jamaican tourist town, police on the Caribbean island confirmed Thursday.
Shirley Lewis-McFarlane was killed sometime Monday, Jamaican Constabulary Force Supt. Yvonne Martin Daley said. She had been renting a home in Discovery Bay, on the north coast, over the past few weeks. Police were called to that home around 4 p.m. Monday and found her body.
In a message to the Sun, Lewis-McFarlane’s 28-year-old daughter, Amanda, described her mother as a loving woman who had a great sense of humour and enjoyed spending time in the garden.
“She was so full of life and tried to help anyone in need,” Amanda said. “My friends always called her their second mother. She loved all her kids, and would brag about us all the time, saying she is so lucky. But really mom we’re the lucky ones.”
“Not only did I lose my mom, I lost my best friend in such a malicious way. It still doesn’t seem real, but it is and I’m counting on justice to be served.”
Martin Daley said the case is being given “priority attention,” adding that detectives from Jamaica’s capital, Kingston, have been called in to help. She could not comment on whether the police had any suspects or knew the motive behind the murder.
“There is some information we can’t give out because we do not want to compromise the investigation,” Martin Daley said. “But at the same time, we do want to quickly get to the bottom of this and solve the case.”
Conflicting media reports from the island indicated that the woman’s throat may have been slashed in the attack, but police would not confirm cause of death. A post-mortem exam was to be conducted.
“The information that I have is that she had bruises to her face so some blunt force was applied,” Martin Daley said. “I don’t have that information that her throat was cut.”
There were no signs of forced entry into the home, she said.
“There was, in fact, evidence that whoever was in there might have been invited in ... and broke out afterwards.”
Martin Daley appealed to any of Lewis-McFarlane’s friends or family in Canada who might have information to contact police in St. Ann Parish.
“If they can give us information as it relates to persons who she was closely associated with in Jamaica, it will help us broaden the scope for the investigation,” she said.
St. Ann Parish is a tourism hot-spot for international travellers and the area’s main industry.
The Toronto Sun has learned that Lewis-McFarlane married her second husband, a Jamaican citizen, in 2001. Since that time, she has travelled back and forth between Canada and Jamaica.
She is a mother of three, Jasmine, Shawn and Amanda; and a daughter of retired York Regional Police officer Don Lewis Sr. Her brother, Don Lewis Jr., was also a member of the police service for more than 32 years. He died in 2010.
Department of Foreign Affairs spokesman Mathieu Roy confirmed the Canadian government is aware of Lewis-McFarlane’s death.
“Canadian officials are in contact with local authorities to gather additional information and are providing consular assistance to the family,” Roy said.
Friends and family reacted with shock and moving tributes on Facebook (external - login to view).
Lewis-McFarlane’s son, Shawn, said he yearned for one last conversation with his mother.
“Mom, I love you with all my heart and soul, you were everything to me, my best-friend I could trust and we both told each other everything,” he wrote on the tribute page. “You have always been there for me even tho (sic) we both had our bad days we would always laugh about them in the end.”
Sadie Richter, who said she was Lewis-McFarlane’s cousin, wrote the pair actually felt more like sisters and began to call each other that over the years.
“That laugh. I still hear it. That smile, I still see it,” Richter wrote. “I could go on, I could practically write a novel about what a great person Shirley was. She’s unforgettable. I miss her so much.”
Shirley Lewis-McFarlane, 53, of Aurora, was murdered Dec. 30, 2013, in Discovery Bay, Jamaica. (Supplied photo)

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