Tyrene Knowles, the aunt of 17-year-old Kenrika Martin, who was found dead in waters off Stokes Cabana Wednesday morning, urged whoever is responsible for her death to surrender to police as family members seek closure.
“They left her like she was nobody,” Knowles said.
“I don’t know if it was someone she had a relationship with or someone she didn’t know.
“They might’ve got into an argument or something and things got out of hand, but they left her out there like she was nobody. She was someone’s child. My sister’s child.
“For them to just take her like that and treat her like that, just throw her out there on the beach like she was nobody, like she was just a piece of garbage, that’s sad.
“I just ask for that person to please turn themselves in because my sister and my niece’s daddy need closure.”
Knowles described her niece as a sweet young lady with a good head on her shoulders.
“She wasn’t even a wild person,” she said.
“She was never wild, and she wasn’t stupid. She would never go behind someone she did not know. I know that for sure.
“She was a very sweet young girl, and for something like this to happen to her, it’s hard because she’s my sister’s only daughter.”
Martin, affectionately known as “Lil’ Thing” amongst her family members, graduated last year from R.M Bailey Senior High School and had a passion for fashion and beauty, her aunt said.
Knowles said that she was set to begin a new job yesterday at a clothing store.
“She always said that when she got older and was able to work and do things for herself, she wanted to come out of Nassau – move somewhere else and better herself,” she said.
“Her and her mother lived in Nassau Village, and I’m sure they’re going to miss her because she used to plait everyone’s hair around there.”
Knowles said she spoke with Martin the night before she went missing, and understood she had plans the following day.
“My sister said that Lil’ Thing told her that she was going to carry her documents to a friend of hers to get her a job,” she said.
“Now, me neither my sister knows who this friend is, but we assumed it was a young girl just like her because she had a lot of little friends, and that was it.”
As the evening came, she said that her mother tried to contact Martin’s cell phone, but she never responded.
This, she said, made her mother a little paranoid.
“Then, when she didn’t come home, that was worse,” she said.
“My sister and I knew for sure that she didn’t plan to go anywhere like that because if she did, she would’ve got dressed up and stuff. Like I said, she loved fashion, but she wasn’t dressed to go anywhere like that.
“The next morning, my sister called me and said she thinks that’s Lil’ Thing they found on the beach, but she wouldn’t know for sure until she goes and identifies the body.”
The morning Martin’s lifeless body was found with blunt force trauma to her head and abrasions on her neck, Knowles said that she was in total disbelief.
“Honestly, I didn’t believe it,” she said as she wept.
“I just didn’t believe it. Then, when I saw it on the news, and called my sister, my sister said she hoped that wasn’t her baby.
“Honestly, I didn’t want to believe it until I saw it for myself. It just started to sink in this morning when we went to the morgue.”
At that point, Knowles said the only thing on her mind was the well-being of her sister.
“I knew how much Lil’ Thing meant to her,” she said.
“My sister said that my niece took a piece of my sister with her today at the morgue. She was there, but it was just like she wasn’t there.”
Knowles also encouraged young girls to listen to their parents.
“If you have a guardian – your mother, your father, your sister, your brother or anyone out there watching over you, stay on the right path,” she said.
“Don’t get persuaded by these young boys. They play like they love you, and they really don’t.
“These boys only want to swing you. That’s it. So, please listen to your parents, please. Don’t wander off to all of these places in the night, talk to strangers or meet these big man and stuff.”