Man found dead with face missing
By Cecily Asson Sunday, July 1 2012
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TIME OF GRIEF: Alicia Sylvester, centre, wife of deceased hunter Shurland Chance, (inset) chats with Sunday Newsday yesterday, as she consoles their c...
Hours after Ugandan minister, Pastor Simon Kakande, prayed for the safety of himself and his family, Shurland Chance, 29, was found dead, with his face completely missing, in the middle of the road near the village cemetery.
Grieving relatives said yesterday that the father of two, of Taylor Trace, Rochard Douglas Road, St Mary’s Village, Moruga, could only be identified by the clothing and black slippers he was last seen wearing when he left home to lime on Friday.
Investigators are, however, awaiting an autopsy, expected to be performed at the Forensic Science Centre in St James tomorrow, to determine whether Chance was shot or the victim of a hit and run accident.
Hours before Chance’s death, Kakande had been winding up proceedings on the final night of a crusade being held in Chance’s yard. His body was discovered at about 4 am yesterday by Videsh Charles, who was driving his truck along the Rochard Douglas Road. Charles alerted police, who could not immediately identify Chance because his face was unrecognisable.
Chance was a hunter and dog trainer. Yesterday, his estranged common-law wife, Alicia Sylvester, 31, told Sunday Newsday that the family was confused over his death.
“This morning I got a phone call stating that a man died on the road. I went and I gave a description, but they said it couldn’t help as the victim had no face. I then described the clothes he was wearing and they said it was him. They also asked me to call his phone and it rang in his pocket and they said it was him,” Sylvester said.
Sylvester said some villagers who saw his body speculated that “they shoot off his face,” while others said “he get bounce”.
She continued, “We don’t believe he was knocked down, because where we found his slippers it looks as if he was running from somebody. Even his jersey was torn.”
According to Sylvester, Chance had gone out to lime and was on his way home when tragedy struck. She said they heard he had a fight with someone in the bar that night and he was ambushed on his way home.
“A police tell me it look as if they use a sawed-off shotgun and shot him in the face because he had no face at all,” Sylvester said, adding she was not allowed to look at the body.
“I begged the police, but one of them showed me a photo on the cellphone. He had no face.”
Chance lived alone at the back of her (Sylvesters) family’s house. The couple has two children, eight-year-old Dionne and seven-year-old Alicia Chance, but separated four years ago.
For the past week, Sylvester’s family has been facilitating a crusade held by the Throne Room of God Ministries at their home and on Thursday night Chance’s son, Dionne, pleaded with him to participate in the service.
Sylvester said, “Dionne begged him to stay in the crusade on Thursday night so that the pastor could pray for him, but he refused and left. The child was upset because he said he tried. Last night (Friday), all through the crusade Dionne was crying non-stop. Pastor walked up to him and told him not to cry and began praying for him and his family. He told him he would stop crying in three days time.”
She added, “We didn’t know what was waiting for us.”
Dionne, she said, is struggling to deal with the death of his father.
“He was very close with him and he is wondering who will train his many dogs.”
Chance’s mother, Drupatee Chance, 53, of Rochard Douglas Road, St Mary’s Village, Moruga, said her son was not involved in any criminal activities.
“My son loved his children and was close to them,” she said.
Officers of the Southern Homicide Division are continuing investigations.