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Sep 7, 2016

22 year old pregnant woman viciously murdered in Orange Walk

Jahida Crawford

There was a horrific murder in Orange Walk Town just before seven on Tuesday night. A young woman was shot and killed in front of her two children, one seven and the other five years of age.  Twenty-two year old Jahida Crawford, who is just recently found out she was two months pregnant, was called out by someone she likely knew. Crawford went to the verandah of her house and was hit by two bullets. She managed to get inside, but expired before her family could get help.  Crawford’s family as well as the community is stunned and police have little to go by except that they want to question her former boyfriend, a coastguard officer. News Five’s Duane Moody reports.


Marina Gongora, Aunt of Murder Victim

Marina Gongora

“My niece, I loved them dearly and we played…I have been playing softball for a number of years. I was the pitcher for my team and she was the catcher and we played well together.”


Duane Moody, Reporting

It is a most sensational murder, in recent times that has left relatives and friends as well as most Orange Walkenos in shock and disbelief—a young single mother was shot and killed at her home in front of her seven year old daughter and five year old son.  Twenty-two year old Jahida Crawford was inside her home at the corner of Boundary and Rio Bravo Roads when someone called out for her from outside. As she exited the front door, several shots were fired, hitting her in the lower back and hip. She ran inside the house for cover, but collapsed in the living and died on the spot. Her son would then throw himself atop mortally wounded mother, assuming that she is sleeping. Police responded shortly after.


Supt. Selvyn Tillett

Supt. Selvyn Tillett, O.C., Orange Walk Police

“At about 7:05 p.m., acting upon information, Orange Walk Police visited the corner of Rio Bravo and Boundary roads in Orange Walk Town where inside the living room of a cement house, they saw the motionless body of a female identified as Jahida Crawford, twenty-two years of same address, lying face down motionless with apparent gunshot wound to lower back and side of hip. Initial investigation reveals that on the same date, at about seven p.m., someone called out Miss Crawford’s name, she came out to the verandah and apparently two gunshots were fired in her directions. She was able to run into the living room where she feel and remained motionless; she fell on her face.”


The family was notified immediately of what had happened by another person, an adult who was in the backroom when the shooting took place. They rushed to the house of their loved one to find police processing the scene where two point forty-caliber expended shells were recovered.


Marina Gongora

“I had just gotten home last night from work—it was a bit after seven—and going through my phone, I noticed that my sister, who is Jahida’s mom, she had called. And I said, she doesn’t normally call me that time…she would normally call me during the day to do her some favor or so. And so I sent her back a text and said you called, but I didn’t get a response. As soon as I sent that text, my niece, Kimberly, came running in and she said, “Auntie Nella called you?” And I said, “No.” You noh hear? I said, “Hear what?” And she said, “They shot Jahida and they think she is dead.” I hailed my son and I said, “Let’s go.” And by the time we got there, we saw the police vehicle, we saw the crowd of people there. The police told us we can’t pass and I said, “She’s my niece.” And he said, “No, you can’t pass.” I said, “So what? Is she dead?” And he said, “I don’t know.” And I told him, “Well you know what, I think she is dead because you people haven’t moved her. Had she been living you wouldn’t be standing here and she wouldn’t be lying in the house.” Anyways we waited there for a while until they came and they started processing the scene. It took a while, we waited; they did whatever processing they had to do. They took her sometime after nine to the morgue.”


It is clear that Crawford knew her killer and that she was the intended target since the gunman called out for her before firing the deadly shots. But who could have wanted the pregnant mother of two dead?


Supt. Selvyn Tillett

“It is very early into the investigation and at this moment, we are looking for one male person who we believe can assist in this investigation.”


Duane Moody

“Is it believed to be one person with a gun that fired at her? Is the police getting any information that her life may have been threatened otherwise?”


Supt. Selvyn Tillett

“As I said, it seems as it is one person who did this recent incident.”


But according to relatives, on Monday, the estranged boyfriend of Crawford, and the father of her two children, had threatened to harm her following a child support lawsuit she brought against him. He, News Five understands, was to report to work on Tuesday and did not and has not been seen or heard from since.


Marina Gongora

 “None, none, none at all. She never had complaints not that I know of. The only one I heard was of some disagreement with the dad for the children that she was taking to court for maintenance had some argument with her on Monday. He wanted her to drop the case and she said no because he hadn’t given her any money for two years. That’s the only thing I’ve heard.”


Crawford’s Aunt, Marina Gongora says that she will be remembered as an excellent softball player. She was the catcher for the Falcon Softball Team.


Marina Gongora

“We played a lot of games; she did excellently. I was really surprised she turned out to be a good catcher because hat is one of the hardest sports. You can find players for any position except that one. And seeing her lying there last night I said, “That is such a waste.” A young person talented just gone. It actually gives me no courage to continue in that tournament. She was by my house this year asking, “Auntie Mar, why don’t you do a tournament?” I told her, “Give me a break because I am working in Belmopan and I can’t do it from there.” So I said, “Well I’ll try January because they want to play.” I mean even though I told them that I give up, I get enough, I’m done…I’m forty-nine. They say but you still got a bit left. I told them, “I don’t think so, but I’ll see what I can do.” And now to see that she is gone?”


Duane Moody for News Five.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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