By Carlena Knight
“Kind”, “sweet”, “a gentle spirit” were among the long list of endearing terms friends and sympathisers used to describe the late Jane Finch after news broke of her shocking death on Monday night.
Scores of residents, especially those within the English Harbour community, have been reacting with shock and heartbreak as the 66-year-old Canadian-born Piccadilly resident was found dead in her home late Monday night, the victim of an apparent homicide.
Hours prior to her demise, Finch frantically appealed for help in a social media post, stating that a young female who appeared to be mentally challenged, had broken down a fence on her gallery and was attempting to break her windows to gain entry into her house.
Police were contacted, however, by the time they arrived the attack had already occurred.
Reports are that the victim was found lying motionless on her living room floor with what appeared to be injuries to the back of her head.
Soon after the news broke residents and others further afield expressed shock on social media and posted glowing tributes to Finch.
A close friend of the deceased, Carissa C Warner told this newsroom that Finch always had a smile on her face, no matter what she was going through.
“She just always made me smile. We didn’t see each other that often because of Covid but she always had something funny to say. She is a white Antiguan,” she joked. “She had this deep dialect and it was always funny the way she would say things. Even if things are not right with her, she still just always had a smile on her face and was like ‘yeah man, things will always be alright, man. We just need to drink some rum about it,” Warner said.
Finch, who was originally from Canada, has been living in Antigua and Barbuda for more than 30 years.
It was her love of sailing that brought her to her new home in Antigua all those years ago as part of the Fife Ketch Eilen crew.
She continued that love for sailing even after moving to Antigua as she worked as a tour rep in the cruise sector and being actively involved in several regattas with the Antigua Charter Boat Show.
Maurice Belgrave, a member of the yachting community revealed that Finch was the only non-national he knew who had a good command of the Antiguan dialect.
“She was very happy to know that she could actually interact with you in dialect. She would tell you point by point about the events of her day. She was an animal lover, she had a dog, two or four chickens and even a tarantula spider that comes out at night she would softly sweep it aside to save it,” Belgrave said.
He also shared his concern about the number of people in the country who are mentally challenged and mentioned that, if given a chance, he is willing to do his part to assist with the problem.
Others took to Facebook to pay tribute to the fallen lover of animals and nature.
“Jane, you were the definition of a wild and sweet woman! You always supported everyone and spread your love and light. It truly saddens me to hear this tragic news. I am so sorry and I hope your soul soars. I know we will see you in every sunrise, sunset, moonrise, rainfall, in every beautiful moment that life has to present, you will be there sharing your unconditional love and light. I love you so much and am sending so much love, light and support, warrior healing magic to your family and loved ones but most importantly to you,” one post read.
Another said, “Jane, you were one of the first people I met in Antigua some 40 years ago. You were always there, holding the sunshine in your palm and a love for all creatures in your heart. I remember when Jareese was born and she loved and doted on him. So very sorry Jareese and sorry to her family. Antigua has lost a beautiful soul and is less for her passing. It will never be the same. Rest in peace.”
“You were such an amazing woman with such an upbeat personality. Kind, hilarious, helpful, down to earth, filled with passion and love for the people. Missing you terribly Jane. You were part of our family. I will never forget you. My heart is heavy and the tears keep on flowing. RIP my dear sweet Jane. My condolences to your son Jareese, your little dog, Groucho, your family and friends. Thank you for the peaceful life you lived and the love you shared with us,” another posted.
A female, believed to be in her 20s is currently in custody and is assisting the police with their investigation into the 10th homicide of the year.