Police in Jamaica launch homicide probe into Markham woman's death

·2 min read
A Markham woman found dead in Jamaica has been identified as Latoya Alcindor. Tashia Antoine, who identified herself as Alcindor's 'godsister' said the 43-year-old was a 'kind-hearted spirit' who loved life and was passionate about helping people. (Submitted by Tashia Antoine)

Police in Jamaica confirm they are investigating the death of a 43-year-old woman from Markham as a homicide.

Investigators say Latoya Alcindor was killed sometime between Jan. 18 and Jan. 21 inside a guest house in Runaway Bay, which is about 100 kilometres northwest of Kingston, the country's capital. Guests at that location smelled a foul odour and alerted police, who entered the unit and found her body.

Police say Alcindor's body was found with stab wounds and evidence of other trauma. She had been been staying with a man inside the guest house, police say, and he is considered a suspect.

The man is still at large, and investigators have not identified him at this time.

Tashia Antoine told CBC News that Alcindor was her "godsister," and the two had known each other their entire lives. She said Alcindor was "a pillar in the Caribbean community" and a "cultural ambassador" who was heavily involved in Caribana and fundraising initiatives.

"Tears come to my eyes when I just think of her, or see a picture of her," Antoine said.

"She was a loving mother of two beautiful girls ... it's hard for them to see that their mother's life has been taken so tragically."

Alcindor hosted an online radio show and was well-known in the community, Antoine told CBC News.

"She has a large family as it is but she had an extended family of her community," she said. "Everybody is just shocked and can't believe that something like this, something so vicious... could happen to person who is known for her giving nature."

"The community is heartbroken," she added.

Antoine said Alcindor, who also worked in property management, travelled to Jamaica on Dec. 26 to pursue a business opportunity. She had met the man she was staying with a few months before on another trip, Antoine said.

"This is the person we're trying to reach out [to] and find, so we can get some answers," she said, adding that she had spoken to her friend not long ago, and everything seemed okay. "It's just a major shock, because the last time I spoke with her, she was extremely happy," Antoine said.

"She could not have done or said anything to warrant this type of death."

Global Affairs Canada spokesperson Grantly Franklin told CBC News the Canadian government is offering its "deepest condolences" to Alcindor's family and friends, and that consular officials are now talking with local authorities to get more information.

Due to the provisions under the Privacy Act, Franklin said, no further information can be disclosed by Global Affairs.