By SANCHESKA BROWN
Tribune Staff Reporter
THE autopsy results of the woman and two children who were pulled from the sea off the Montagu ramp on Sunday night are expected to be released today, according to officer-in-charge of the Central Detective Unit Chief Superintendent Paul Rolle.
Chief Supt Rolle said when he receives the results this afternoon, police will be able to definitely say how 36-year-old Shemicka McKinney and her two daughters, three-year-old Alisa McKinney and six-year-old Gabrielle McKinney, died.
Their bodies were pulled from the sea shortly after eyewitnesses said they saw a car – a dark blue Toyota Avalon – speeding off the ramp and into the water.
One eyewitness said the woman had driven to the edge of the ramp, stopped and turned around. She later returned and the car went into the water.
Assistant Commissioner of Police Stephen Dean has said police fear the incident was a murder-suicide but added that it is too early to speculate without the official results of an autopsy.
Although police have not yet officially identified the bodies, Alice Pinder McKinney, Shemicka’s grandmother, identified the victims.
Family members described Shemicka as a depressed college graduate who was argumentative and out of work.
On Monday, her grandmother told The Tribune she was “angry, sad and confused” by the deaths of her two “great-grand babies”, allegedly at the hands of their own mother – a woman she raised and loved.
Ms McKinney said her granddaughter was an intelligent, beautiful girl who “had a lot of problems” and “lost her way” after graduating from college in the United States. She said “Mika”, as she was affectionately called, loved her children “with all her heart.”
She added that although her granddaughter was “sad a lot” she would have never imagined she would have “gone this far”.
“Mika could have left those children here, I could have taken them,” the tearful grandmother said outside her home on Monday. “Many people would have helped her if she was hurting, but she was too proud to ask for help. The children’s father was also around, she could have leaned on him, but she was quiet, kept her problems to herself. God only knows how I am going to cope, but the Lord will never give me more than I can bear. He knows all things and he will make this all right.”
Paula Davis, Shemicka’s cousin, said she took the mother and her children in sometime in January after the deceased told her she needed somewhere to stay for the night. But two months later, Ms Davis said Shemicka was still there and day by day, the tension grew between the two women who were crammed in a small apartment with seven children.
On Friday, Ms Davis, 46, said she came to the “end of the rope” with her cousin and threw her out, after Shemicka disrespected her.
Police have in the past urged people to be on the lookout for warning signs of suicide, such as talking about it or having feelings of helplessness or worthlessness.
For counselling and emotional support contact the Department of Social Services hotline on 322-2763 or the Crisis Centre on 328-0922 or 322-4999.