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murder-house-OptimizedMANDEVILLE, Manchester — The mother of slain teenager Martha Byrowe yesterday strongly denied that she neglected her child and was adamant that the 16-year-old student of Cross Keys High School was not living with the man accused of killing her. Felicia Bell was charged late Friday with two counts of breaches of the Child Care and Protection Act: Failure to report a child in need of care and protection and failure to exercise proper care and guidance to a child. Byrowe’s body was reportedly found with stab wounds to her head on Ash Wednesday, at the home which she allegedly shared with a 33-year-old man popularly known as ‘Bruce’ and identified by police as Sebastion Salmon in Top Albion, Manchester. However, Bell told the Sunday Observer that Salmon, who was apprehended by the police yesterday, was a close friend whom she had known for many years. She said that although it was by coincidence that they ended up being neighbours when she moved from Cross Keys District to Top Albion about a year ago, Salmon and her family were close in the past. Years ago, Bell said, when she was a student of May Pen
High and living at Sevens Road, Clarendon, Salmon — then a young boy — regularly visited friends there. Forty-six-year-old Bell said that she and her children quickly formed an interdependent relationship with Salmon, particularly because she had no electricity and water and they could do their ironing, washing and sometimes cooking at his home. “Everybody jus’ go and come. He was like a family member. Bruce come een like a mi brother. Is a tradition wi a come from,” said Bell, a domestic helper. “Mi caan stop grieve over mi daughter. Mi just feel lonely and feel down,” she added. Though she insists that she is innocent, Bell will have to appear in the Mandeville Resident Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday, February 20 to answer to the charges against her. But she is also in search of answers.
While not wishing to speak to the accused directly, Bell said that she is curious to know why her daughter was killed. “Mi nuh waan talk to him (but) mi waan know why,” she said. Community member Davion Holness was also in disbelief that Salmon could be the villain at the centre of the sordid act. He described the accused as “calm” and disclosed that if he did not disappear after the incident there would be no doubt about his innocence. “If this never happen he would be out here,” Holness said, referring to the spot under a tree in the community where he often relaxed with other residents. Holness said that even after seeing Byrowe’s cold body he was not convinced that she was actually gone. “All when mi see har mi still couldn’t believe. She was nice, friendly and have manners,” he said. The grieving mother also had to deal with the loss of Byrowe’s father when she was just one year old.


  • Lalibela Nile [NileValleyDreams] says:

    Very unfortunate circumstances–I do hope that the mother is not complicit in the killing of her child–as far as allowing her to live with Bruce is concerned.

  • Anonymous says:

    She must feel it.
    She lose her daughter.
    But she did say that when Massa Bruce say the daughter go sports day with other man, she said the other man must be just a friend. (to my recollection)
    So she did know of the goings-on.

  • Real says:

    Afternooon Met, There is a video on the gleaner as anon wrote…this woman know everything ….because di girl was not even living with her

  • Belly Bang says:

    :cool Da woman yah need a good lawyer fi guh wid her to Court. BTW, dem ketch Missa Bruce.

  • Foxy Lady says:

    The initial article listed his age as in his forties, this states 33. Though we might scream she was grossly negligent or as Nile stated “complicit in the killing” of her child, these relationships have been at the heart of the fabric of Jamaica. It’s common place for 16 year old girls to engage in relationships with older men.
    I’m certain she had never envisioned him killing her child. Further, in her mind she was probably thinking that her child was in a better situation based on the deplorable conditions they lived in.
    Out of desperation, poverty and need, young girls are usually encouraged to have relations with men who might be in a slightly better circumstance than them, in this case the better circumstance was electricity and water.
    That being said, the troubling part of the article is her cavalier attitude towards the death. Mind you, it could be the way the article was worded and it could also be her not knowing how to express her grief, bearing in mind that we all grieve on different levels.

  • MURASAKI says:

    They knew bruce for years but not his real name. i know people in Jamaica go by aliases but at least you would know the person real first name. The way I see it, this 16 year old girl was ( whether the mum realized it or not) pimped out so that the family could have electricity and water privileges. And what a nasty man and nasty arrangement if he knew this girl from she was a baby and then now f…ing her off so that the family can get their stuff.

    Now poor girl probably wanted to have a bf her age but had to be f…ing ole Bruce.

  • Foxy, reliable sources advised me that the alleged killer was a former Montego Bay area resident has been on the run because of another murder charge.

    He grew jealous when he saw a picture of the victim and one of her school mates–hence he grew enraged and the rest is history…

    You are correct that such relationships are common place in Jamaica and I understand the context. However, predicated on existing laws, the mother could be found negligent and she should be held accountable.

    Think about it, if the allegations are correct, the mother in essence has being exploiting her daughter for material gains. Justifiably, the little girl wanted to live a normal life, hence, embraced the solicits of her peers and it is for this reason, et al, that she is no longer with us.

    The mother and the young man entered into a quid pro quo relationship where the demised girl was used as goods…

    Though, such relationships are prevalent at the present, they are not morally/ethically sound and armed with the law, I hope that they become a thing of the past…

  • MURASAKI says:

    Nile, it was nothing more than modern day slavery. This little girl was sold or traded to Bruce. It seems that Bruce has a temper and I wouldn’t be surprised if it wasn’t the only time that he raised a hand against the little girl. \in my community back in the days of the alpart bauxite all these men who earned a little change would f off the high schoolers dem and their mothers would welcome the supermarket trolley run come weekend time. \is long time this happening in Jamaica. Fact: \most teenage girls get pregnant inna Jamaica fi big man, POLL: how many of them yuh ever hear guh to prison for having sex and this impregnating a schoolers?

  • Belly Bang says:

    :nerd The principal of Cross Keys High School says he is surprised at the allegation that his slain 16-year-old student Martha Byrowe relied on a live-in relationship with an older man to support herself, including taking care of school expenses……….. He described Byrowe as a disciplined student who was actively involved in school activities, particularly in table tennis, discus and shot put. However, he said, relationships such as the one in which Byrowe was allegedly involved were not entirely unusual. “It is a little more (common) than we really think… where parents are actually accepting financial support from adult males (for female students)… in certain circumstances,” Nelson said.

  • Foxy Lady says:

    Good morning my husband, I am in total alignment with everything you just stated. I have heard the allegations from a blogger as to his previous murder. In a tiny place as Jamaica where nothing gets kept a secret, I am not inclined to believe the mother hadn’t been privy to such rumors especially given that by her own admission this is someone she had known for a while.
    At 16 we don’t even know ourselves and have no idea what our likes or predilections are, so I certainly have a problem with it. However I’m torn on how we can arbitrarily use the phrase ‘morally/ethically sound’ to validate one position over another.
    Mary gave birth to Jesus at 15 years old. The prophet Mohammed married Aisha at the tender age of 6. Elvis Presley was with Priscilla Presley when she was only 14, yet these are people who are loved and praised the world over.

    What can easily be construed as pimping her daughter can be an intended noble deed on the part of the mother also. If this practice that has been culturally accepted in Jamaican might not lead the mother to even conceive that she was harming her daughter in anyway. I am not familiar with the laws in regards to this in Jamaica as the frequency of it leads me to think there are no statutory rape laws there.

  • Foxy Lady says:


  • Foxy Lady says:

    Murasaki, you’ve just clarified my position, that this has been a culturally accepted practice.

  • MURASAKI says:

    Foxy there are statutory rape laws in Jamaica, but its that they are rarely reported to the police because of the stigma. Girls are usually blamed if a big man is putting argument to them. This mentality is at the core of how over the years men have not been held accountable for their actions.

  • Foxy Lady says:

    It’s a sad state when the entire community was aware of this living arrangement and the age difference yet it goes unnoticed. Maybe a huge part of that is fear and the pervasive climate of being an informer is a bad thing.
    All laws are impotent if not enforced and if the members of the society are all perfectly fine with the practice, they might as well take the laws off the books.

  • Belly Bang and MURASAKI, such a sad reality… and I am glad that negeste Foxy is not okay with it :)

  • Foxy you better know that you are beyond correct. Law enforcement is almost impossible without the transfer of information…

  • Foxy Lady says:

    I certainly hope you did not construe anything I wrote as being okay with it but I don’t automatically hop on any bandwagon and chastise a person when it’s clear that this is not an uncommon practice and we all either have been or knew/know someone who had been in such a relationship or situation.
    Yes, the practice should be condemned and all these men should be imprisoned for statutory rape but like the men above that I’ve mentioned, no one had a problem with the same practice then, so it is either wrong all the time everywhere (recall R Kelly) or it’s okay all the time everywhere and not just when the females turn up dead.

  • Foxy, relative to Mary and Mohammad’s time, things were difference and as such, we have to entertain context. Tough I must confess that I don’t think there was ever a time where a 6 year old would have ever been suitable enough to be a grown man’s wife…

  • Foxy Lady says:

    See, my very point, cultural practices.

  • Foxy, we have since evolved beyond those times. Education/science, has replaced a lot of cultural backwardness…

  • Foxy Lady says:

    It should be so but here is the problem I have with that statement, Mohammed was a prophet, a man of God and he claimed that God called his wife, the 6 year old Aisha. God’s calling should transcend time and education since he’s all knowing and timeless. It was not frown upon because that was the practice of those times.
    In the Mormon culture/religion and many other orthodox religions this is acceptable practice.
    Likewise in Jamaica, the fact that this is widespread and not reported to law enforcement gives it tacit consent.
    R Kelly was with Aaliyah at 15 and this was very well known and he was never charged.
    Cultural practices are only considered backward by the people who have a problem with such, otherwise it’s simply culture.
    Does that make it any less wrong? Absolutely not.

    My position is that it should be addressed at a national level, fought against and reported by the society at large to render it immoral.

  • MURASAKI says:

    Also Foxy, if they are going to do this to a poor woman then haul in all the politicians as business men f …ing off the schoolers dem.

  • Foxy, Mohammad saying that God told him to do something, does not make it true and knowing how impressionable the masses were at that time, it is plausible that he manipulated the people of the day.

    Solomon, reputed to be the wisest tongue ever, strayed from YHWH to worship a false god. Men’s lust for women and the temptations of a woman are very powerful and has often caused men to deviate.

    K. Kelly was the money maker and a lot of discerning individuals placated him by facilitating thirst for Aaliyah…

    I agree that there should be no exceptions, the practice should be vanquished across the board…

  • Foxy Lady says:

    That’s my point Murasaki. Jamaicans are usually more family oriented and have more compassion towards their children than many other cultures particularly Americans. So I know this poor woman was in a twisted way trying to offer her daughter more than what she could, as they were living in squalor.

  • Foxy Lady says:

    What Mohammed did then is no different from how the masses today are still manipulated with Christianity and the white man’s everything which is why they bleach their skins because of a deep rooted inferiority complex.

    People need to go back to their Royal history and lose all the chips they are walking around with.

  • Foxy Lady, would you agree with me that relative to most other religious observers, Christians are the least informed? Most don’t even know the name of their creator–muchness to know the actual protocols of Christianity…

  • Foxy Lady says:

    Absolutely agree and to expound on that, Christians are the very ones who do not read the bible. They read the psalms and the proverbs and that’s it. The interpret the Bible to suit their prejudices and personal motives and selectively quote Bible verses to validate their position, yet there is an equally applicable Bible verse that renders their position moot. It’s hilarious to me.

    When Moses asked the creator his name, he responded “I am”. That’s heavy stuff!
    ‘I AM’ are the two most important words in our vocabulary. It means that you are god over your life, whatever you say after I AM becomes your reality. So many people curse themselves unknowingly by saying I AM bad lucky, I am ……. not realizing how the bible was meant to be interpreted.

    Mind you, bushes don’t speak so we know the stories were parables and not actual occurrences but it’s the very tool that used to keep them ignorant and away from their own strength.

  • I love this woman’s mind [Foxy Lady] :)!!!

  • Foxy Lady says:

    I’ll take that as a compliment any day over telling me you like my ass. LOL

  • No doubt negeste [empress] It should be regarded as a complement over me acknowledging the prowess of your ass any day–especially since I have never seen your ass :)

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