May 15, 2023 -On the night of Tuesday, May 9, the son of Ingrid Murray, an eminent, New York-based businesswoman and prominent figure in the Jamaican diaspora, was kidnapped and robbed in Portmore, Jamaica.
Murray’s 18-year-old son, who was born in Jamaica and currently lives in New York with his family, managed to escape his captors, and was found treading in the sea by members of the Jamaica Defense Force (JDF).
The young man was covered in bruises and was escorted by the officers to the Greater Portmore (100 Man) Police Station.
Murray has since traveled to Jamaica to pick up her son and is working with local authorities in an ongoing investigation.
She explains that her son had met a young woman on Sunday, May 7, and on Tuesday the two made plans to meet, with the stipulation that her “Uncle” would chaperone them, as neither drove.
Initially, they were to travel to Hellshire Beach in Portmore, but unbeknownst to him, the plans were changed and the three made their way to a nearby popular restaurant instead. Murray’s son noticed they were traveling past the restaurant, but was assured by the “Uncle” that they would be turning around.
Soon after, the “Uncle” pulled over on the side of the road and another vehicle pulled up alongside them. The “Uncle” jumped into the back seat, and proceeded to physically assault Murray’s son. He was stripped of his clothes, and the assailants took his phone, unlocked it with his face ID, and transferred all his money from his US bank account to another US account. He was then told, in no uncertain words, that he was going to be killed and his body dumped. Murray believes everything was well orchestrated.
According to her son, as the men opened the trunk of the car to put him in it, he seized the opportunity to run. He eventually fell down the hillside and into the sea, where he was discovered by the JDF.
“Because of God’s saving Grace I was able to escape and I made it out alive,” the 18-year-old says.
Warning for Visitors
Murrays explains that her son visits the island often, and has always planned to return permanently. “He loves Jamaica,” she says, noting that she will not dissuade him from visiting again, but will continue to emphasize the importance of being vigilant of his surroundings and those he interacts with while here.
“I don’t want Jamaica to be put in a box,” Murray says. “Crime is everywhere, especially now. We have to walk on pins and needles even in New York.” She hopes this will come as another reminder for foreigners and locals alike to also be aware of their environment and cautious of strangers, even if they don’t look like criminals, and to always let loved ones know where you are.
“Regardless of what happened, Jamaica will always be home, and I will continue to come here. I just learned a harsh life lesson to never trust anyone… This traumatizing ordeal has changed me for the better. It has drawn me closer to God and given me a whole new outlook on life as a whole,” reflects Murray’s son, who is still recuperating after being cleared by medical professionals.
Murray says, above all, she is grateful her son is still alive.