By Carlena Knight
“Kind, helpful and loyal” were just a few of the words used by friends to describe 25-year-old Neltha Telemaque as they prepare to honour her memory with a candlelight vigil on Friday.
Telemaque’s body was found on Sunday morning by a livestock farmer in the vicinity of the Burma Quarry with what appeared to be multiple wounds.
The discovery came a day after her fiancé posted to social media that she was missing.
The Horsford Hill resident, who worked at a health food store in St John’s, is the country’s 14th homicide victim this year.
Since news broke of her untimely passing, relatives, close friends and the general public have been issuing condolences and sharing their shock and anguish, with many referring to the All Saints Secondary School graduate’s kind heart.
“She would never hurt a fly,” said one family member.
“She was very peaceful and loving and caring and put herself out the way to help others. Thinking about her just makes me cry,” said one friend.
Others, like Yashid Auguiste who was a close friend, were rendered almost speechless when reflecting on the kind of person Telemaque was.
“Everyone who knew her knew how kind and caring she was for others. She was stubborn when she couldn’t get her way sometimes but she was a great friend,” an emotional Auguiste told Observer.
“She loved the beach and just going for cool drives. She was never confrontational and always kept to herself so it’s just so shocking when I heard that she died the way she did.
“I just can’t understand how someone would do this. The bond we had was so real. She never deserved this.”
His sentiments were echoed by Michael Riley who grew up with Telemaque in the Adventist church and was also a part of local car crew, HondaHeadache268.
“It has been hard for me to talk about this because I couldn’t find the exact words to describe our relationship and all the feelings involved in it,” he explained.
“We became acquainted with each other from just around the time we both started to even know ourselves growing up in church and constantly would cross paths.
“She was that ‘cousin’ I saw all over, no matter where I went, and always greeted me with a smile. She never switched on me, and left compliments and motivational words for me to read whenever I took a brief break from my busy work schedule.
“I appreciate every comment about my optimism and even how handsome [she] thought I looked while conducting my business. I always admired her humbleness and still tongue despite the tremendous negative forces I’ve witnessed her face, and yet that never seemed to deter her from her destination.
“She has indeed left an imprint on my life to keep these qualities above standard and for that she will never be forgotten,” Riley added.
The HondaHeadache268 crew also issued a statement saying, “Our sister Neltha, who despite not owning an actual vehicle at the time, was one of the original members and a pinnacle of HondaHeadache268.
“She was always front and centre from our first meeting in Woods parking lot and attended every function thereafter.
“Neltha was a warm, welcoming yet quiet, calm and kind person with a positive outlook on life, with fundamental faith in humanity. Our family could call on her at any time to not only assist in her field but even to pick up the slack somewhere else we fell short.
“She eventually went on to join Dadli Aces which was formed from a few original members of Headache268 to bless more hearts with her drive and creativity.
“When Headache268 went dormant this motivated us to keep our outreach programmes functioning, even when we stopped having monthly meetings.
“We will always recognise you and your impact you made on us forming this family and we hope to join you soon again in heaven. Goodbye sis. We’ll all miss you a lot. Thank you for everything,” the statement added.
A candlelight vigil being organised by the Dadli Aces car crew will be held this Friday at Shirley Height’s Lookout from 6.30pm.
Ironically, Telemaque was instrumental in organising the vigil which was initially intended to remember the lives lost this year and now, according to close friend and the crew’s president Des Anthony, remembering Telemaque’s own life will be a major focus.
“She was just always so kind, so helpful,” Anthony said. “She was always willing to just do something that actually mattered. She was even helpful to a couple of us in the crew; even myself when I got seriously ill last year, she went out of her way to help me.”
Telemaque had also lent a hand with a fundraiser for baby Grace Goodwin who was born with a heart defect and died last year.
“Even after that happened she still kept in touch with the family,” Anthony explained, “and from what I understand the wife is pregnant again and she is actually the godmother to the unborn child. So that goes to show you how big her heart was.
“She has a heart the size of the entire universe. She would always give us health tips or even in the group chat each day she would send a scripture and encouraging word each morning. That just goes to show you how great of a person she was and we are all just so saddened by this,” Anthony added.