Golden Grove residents demand justice following double homicide of elderly couple

Tyrone and Pia Baptiste were found dead on Wednesday morning
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By Elesha George

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Residents are demanding justice for an elderly couple apparently killed inside their Golden Grove home on Wednesday.

Police found the lifeless bodies of 65-year-old Tyrone Baptiste and 60-year-old Pia Baptiste of Brother Farrell Road at around 9.15am yesterday.

Neighbours stood for hours in the vicinity waiting for news of what caused the couple’s death, spending time remembering the kind people they were.

A number of residents told Observer that the pair had helped nurture young children in the community by providing food, playtime and sometimes shelter.

“We used to go donkey riding, buck riding around, we go beach, we go fishing, we go all about and that is around 30-something years ago. And to see this and hear this this morning it actually rock the whole entire village, not just me alone,” shared one resident who said Tyrone had introduced her to the hospitality industry where she is still employed.  

While police continue to probe the circumstances surrounding the couple’s death, residents say it is a great loss to the entire neighbourhood.

Another resident who goes by the name Itascha told Observer, “We’re upset, broad daylight, this is gruesome [and] Golden Grove people are mad – highly upset.”

Residents say the husband was retired while his wife, who was originally from the Netherlands, was the General Manager at St John’s-based tour company Tropical Adventures.

Patrick Ryan, the firm’s Director, said Pia had worked with the company for almost 30 years, describing her as the “rock and foundation” upon which the business was built. He said she became the General Manager in 2005 after working there since 1990.

“Pia worked tirelessly and was an inspiration to us all,” he said. Ryan continued that all who worked with Pia appreciated her “efforts in going above and beyond”, calling her a “tower of strength during our times of crises”.

He continued, “I’ve had a very long and distinguished working career with Pia. It’s just unfortunate hearing news like this and we’re all extremely saddened.”

Ryan said he spoke with Pia the day before she died and she was making plans for the upcoming winter season as he pondered and said, “It just shows you how fickle life is”.

Ryan added his deepest sympathies to the family, including the couple’s children Jahmilla and Asabe Baptiste.  

Police spokesman Inspector Frankie Thomas told Observer officers believed a gun had been used in the incident but said an autopsy would be conducted to confirm the cause of death.

Meanwhile, police are appealing to Golden Grove residents who may have seen suspicious movements within the area to contact the Criminal Investigations Department at 462-3913 or Crimestoppers at 800-Tips (8477).

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