A BRITISH schoolgirl has been brutally stabbed to death in Jamaica after her family moved there to escape the knife crime in London.
The body of Stefika Smith, who was just two months away from her 18th birthday, was found dumped on a track beside a sugar cane field on the Caribbean island.
British teen Stefika Smith, 17, was stabbed to death after moving to Jamaica[/caption]
Stefika’s family had left London to escape soaring knife crime[/caption]
Her mother and father, who were both born in Jamaica, took her there from their home in South London to escape the capital’s rising knife crime epidemic and had “idyllic” memories of growing up there in safety.
Both say they are racked with guilt over their decision to move and feel trapped in Jamaica as they fight to bring their daughter’s killer to justice after four months.
Pauline, 54, told the Sunday People: “I’ve lost an angel. There was a lot of knife crime in London and I wanted to take Stefika away from those dangers.
“We wanted her to have the same idyllic life my husband and I had growing up in Jamaica. But wicked people put an end to that.
“My beautiful sweet daughter left what we saw as a knife threat but became a stabbing victim herself where we took her to be safer. I still cannot take it in.”
Stefika grew up in a six-bed detached house in Thornton Heath, South London, the same area where grime star Stormzy spent his childhood.
She attended Norbury Manor Business Enterprise College for Girls where she was a star pupil and sang in the gospel choir of the New Testament Church of God in Brixton.
In 2016 her parents Pauline and Morris, 56, a plasterer, moved to rural May Pen in the south of the country.
The area is just 35 miles from the country’s capital Kingston, where the murder rate is one of the highest in the world.
But despite that the family thought they would be safe in the countryside.
Pauline added: “Stefika was always concerned about her safety in London when she went out because of the stabbings and gangs.
“By contrast, growing up in Jamaica in the 1960s was an ideal world. We could do anything totally safely.”
SPIKE IN VIOLENCE
Stefika quickly settled into her new life and enrolled in the private May Pen High School with her parents hoping she might return to the UK to go to university.
Since the family moved to Jamaica the parish of Clarendon, where May Pen is the largest town, has seen violence escalate.
The area has now declared a state of emergency because there have been more than 100 murders so far this year, with many of those killed children and teenagers.
Pauline said: “Things have deteriorated. In 2016 there was none of this thinking about killing, kidnapping, raping which there is now.”
BODY PICS ON SOCIAL MEDIA
Stefika disappeared on May 10 after she was dropped off at a friend’s house for a sleepover by her parents.
After she was reported missing to the cops a desperate search was organised and her body was found two days later.
Her one-piece yellow bodysuit had been ripped at the front and there were signs she had put up a desperate struggle.
She had been killed by a single stab wound to her throat.
Her parents’ anguish was made worse when a mobile phone picture of her body was posted on social media before they even knew she was dead.
They were only told of her death when a relative in Canada called and asked them if they had seen what was on Facebook.
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A man and a woman were arrested but quickly released and there have been no further arrests.
Pauline said: “Of course I ask myself, did I make the right choice?
“People are supportive and say, ‘You just wanted the best for your child’. I did, but look at the cost.”
Stefika was a star pupil and sang in the gospel choir of her church in Brixton[/caption]
Mum Pauline says she has ‘lost an angel’[/caption]
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