Family of Toronto woman who died in Jamaica seeking answers – CP24

Joanna Lavoie, CP24 Web Content Writer
Devastated family members of a Toronto woman who died after being assaulted over the weekend in Jamaica are demanding answers.
Jaeda Pauline Whitehead, 28, was found lying in bed unresponsive in a residence in the parish of Clarendon on Saturday, according to the Jamaica Constabulary Force.
She was taken to hospital where she was pronounced dead.
Investigators said reports from the Lionel Town Police force indicate that at about 4 p.m. on Friday the victim and her spouse got into a dispute, “during which it is alleged that he shoved her into a wall.”
Whitehead died the following day.
Police said that one person has since been taken into custody in connection with the “death investigation,” though charges have not been laid.
Evelyn Fox, Whitehead’s aunt, told that she is convinced there is far more to the story.
“I just want to make sure that this investigation is done properly and that every person involved is held accountable,” she said Tuesday afternoon.
Fox is alleging that police are basing their investigation on the version of events told to them by relatives of Jaeda’s husband, who lives in Jamaica.
Further, she said that Jaeda had recently told her mom about abuse she had experienced, allegedly at the hands of her partner, and her plans to leave the relationship.
She is also questioning the fact that her niece’s belongings were reportedly left inside the house where she was found and not taken in as evidence.
“There’s stuff about this (case) that just doesn’t make sense,” Fox said.
Whitehead lived in downtown Toronto and worked as a custodian at Ossington/Old Orchard Public School in the city’s west end.
Fox told CP24 that her niece travelled to Jamaica roughly two weeks ago to visit her husband and celebrate their one-year anniversary.
Initially, she was set to only spend a week there, but Fox said that she decided to extend her trip by a week and was expected to return home on May 13.
Now, instead of welcoming Jaeda back home, her distraught loved ones are mourning her death.
“Both of her parents are just beside themselves,” Fox said, adding her niece had so much life to live and did not deserve what happened to her.
She remembered Jaeda as a “bubbly” and “pleasant” person who “always had everybody laughing.”
“She was so carefree and a free spirit. She was just so cute,” Fox shared.
Members of the school community at Ossington/Old Orchard Public School are also in mourning.
On Sunday, Diane Jamieson, the school’s principal, sent a letter to parents/guardians and students letting them know that Whitehead had died.
“I know you join with all of us here in expressing our deepest condolences to her grieving family and friends,” she wrote.
Jamieson said that Whitehead was a “valued team member” at the school who had worked there for the last two years. Whitehead generally worked the evening shift and many students may not have had the opportunity to meet her, she added.
In a statement provided to, Global Affairs Canada spokesperson Grantly Franklin confirmed that they are “aware of the death of a Canadian citizen in Jamaica.”
“Consular officials are in contact with local authorities and are providing consular assistance to the family. Due to privacy considerations, no further information can be disclosed,” he wrote in a May 15 email.
Toronto resident Jaeda Pauline Whitehead, 28, was pronounced dead after being found lying in bed unresponsive in a residence in Jamaica’s Clarendon parish on May 13. (Evelyn Fox photo)
Toronto resident Jaeda Pauline Whitehead, 28, was pronounced dead after being found lying in bed unresponsive in a residence in Jamaica’s Clarendon parish on May 13. (Evelyn Fox photo)
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