Crime Headline — 05 August 2014 — by Albert J. Ciego

The family of Chryslin “Chrissy” Gladden, 16, of Neal Pen Road, an honor student who placed 5th in the Wesley College 2014 graduating class, are in mourning after she was found brutally murdered in the Lord Ridge Cemetery around 5:00 Saturday morning.

Chryslin’s throat had been slit and she had been stabbed multiple times in the back and in the chest. Cut wounds were also seen on her hands and her abdomen. She was found beside a tomb by a man walking on a footpath through the cemetery, who called police.

Her body was taken to the morgue at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital, where she was pronounced dead on arrival at about 7:30 that morning. Police have reported today, Monday, that a police officer from Precinct 2 has been detained in connection with the gruesome murder.

At the time she was killed, Chrissy’s worried mother and family members were out looking for her after she did not come home that Friday night.

Her devastated mother, Vilma Gladden, told Amandala that on Friday, she gave her daughter money to go to the UB Campus to register at the university. Her mother said that Chryslin walked from home and got a taxi near 88 Shopping Center.

At UB’s Campus, Chrissy met a girl who was an acquaintance from childhood and who is reportedly a friend of Chrissy’s boyfriend, a police constable who was allegedly abusive to Chrissy. Although the two young women were not close friends, they were in each other’s company at the national university’s campus.

Chrissy later returned home from school and was doing research on her computer when a vehicle went to the house at about 6:00 and she left home in the vehicle.
That was the last time her mother saw her alive. Vilma did not see whom Chrissy went with in the car, because she had not paid any attention, she said.

Vilma said that shortly after, Chrissy called her and told her that she was at the home of the girl who had been with her at UB earlier in the day. Vilma said she was disappointed because Chrissy had told her that she was going to the home of her childhood friend, whom she was encouraging to go back to school, and that she would be home by 9:00 that night.

Vilma had not expected that Chrissy would have gone to the home of that other girl, since they were not friends, and in fact, had had a troubled relationship at high school.

Vilma was later told that Chrissy and her boyfriend, the police officer, were seen on Friday evening, before her death early Saturday morning, double-riding on a bicycle toward Central American Boulevard. Vilma said that if she had known that Chrissy was not going to her friend’s house, she would not have allowed her to come out of the house.

unfinished tomb

In an interview with Amandala on Sunday morning, a resident of the area near the Lord Ridge Cemetery told us that a homeless man who was in the area at the time of the murder told her that at about 11:30 Saturday night, he was resting on one of the tombs in the cemetery when a car drove up and stopped just across the road from where he was resting.

According to her informant, a girl and a man were arguing in the car. The girl got out of the car from the front passenger side and tried to walk toward Central American Boulevard, but the man also got out and ordered the girl back into the car, telling her that she was to give him something.

The girl replied that she did not promise him anything.

The man then told the girl to give him a hug, and the girl told him to leave her alone, and she tried to walk away, but the man took out a knife and stabbed her in the back as she turned to walk away.

The girl screamed for help, but the man then stabbed her in the chest.

According to the account given by the person who was in the cemetery, the man then grabbed Chrissy and dragged her into the cemetery, where, about 100 feet from the roadside, in a grave space adjacent to a tomb, he stabbed her some more and then cut her throat. He then returned to the car.

The witness said that just before getting into the car, the killer wiped the knife on his pants, but the knife fell out of his hand. He searched for it, but did not find it, and he drove away, towards Central American Boulevard.

The witness said that he had wanted to intervene, but he was unarmed. He immediately went to look for a policeman and saw one in the area of the First Stop Taxi Stop. He tried to explain to the police officer that a girl had been killed, but because he had been drinking, the officer did not believe him.

The witness said that he tried to ask the officer to take him to the spot, but the officer threatened to arrest him, and drove away.

The witness said that he went back to the area, where he tried to find the knife, but did not find it. He then saw that the girl was in the same spot, adjacent to a tomb, but her Jordan sandals were missing. He believed that the killer went back to the area, probably looking for the knife, and took the footwear.

The witness said that he went away, but was unable to sleep. That morning, he returned to the area and told the resident what happened.

In its investigation of this report, Amandala had gone to the home of the Gladden family and inquired whether Chrissy had left home in a pair of Jordan slippers. A frantic search was made in her room for the footwear, but it was not found. The family then agreed that she left home in the Jordan sandals.

Vilma told Amandala that Chrissy had never slept out of her house, and had always kept her phone on. She would never let her phone ring more than twice before she answered it, but that Friday night, Vilma had been calling Chrissy from 9:00 o’clock, every 10 to 15 minutes, but got no response.

About midnight, she felt that something terrible had happened to her daughter, and she was unable to sleep.

Around 4:00 Saturday morning, Vilma got out of bed and went to look for her daughter. She went to the home of the girl Chrissy reportedly visited, but the girl said that she had put Chrissy in a taxi, which was to take her home.

However, Vilma did not believe that story. While she was questioning the girl for a more detailed description of the taxi into which her daughter had supposedly been put, she got a call that Chrissy had been found in the cemetery, dead.

The mother said that she broke down. Chrissy was her only child. After receiving the tragic news, Raquel Smith, a family member who was with Vilma, went to the cemetery, where she (Smith) saw and identified Chrissy.

The family doesn’t know why Chrissy went to the cemetery, because she had always avoided that area, they said. When she went to funerals, Chrissy would only attend church, but would never go to the cemetery, we were told.

Vilma told Amandala that what the girl whom Chrissy visited told her did not add up, because at the time she said that she put Chryslin in a taxi, a camera in the 88 Shopping Center area recorded her (the girl) and Chrissy walking down Central American Boulevard.

Vilma told us that she had been told by Chrissy’s friends that her boyfriend had threatened her, saying that if he could not have her, no one else would. Chrissy had wanted to end the relationship, because he was abusive. The boyfriend had never gone to Chrissy’s home, so Vilma said she hadn’t met him.

Vilma told us that she was told by Chrissy’s friends that once, the officer had choked her, bursting her necklace. Vilma said that she, Vilma, has the broken chain, but that Chrissy had not indicated how the chain had been broken. She also said that she had been informed by Chrissy’s friends that the boyfriend had told them that he would take it to the jeweler.

Vilma said that her daughter had been seen with the policeman on several occasions. On Tuesday, July 29, neighbors told her that they were seen double-riding on a bicycle when he took her home.

A young man who was Chrissy’s childhood friend told Vilma that when passing by the house of Chrissy’s acquaintance, the girl with whom she had had so much trouble at school, he was more than surprised to see Chrissy there, and stopped. He wanted to take her home, but the girl interrupted his offer to Chrissy and said that he was not taking Chrissy home because it was too early.

The man told her mother that he told Chrissy to text him when she was ready to go home, and he would come for her. He reported that he tried to call her and texted her, but she did not respond.

At about 4:45 Saturday morning, the same girl went to his house and told him that Chrissy had been killed, and that she was in the cemetery, the man reportedly informed Vilma.

He went to the cemetery to see what was happening, and saw police and a crowd in the area, and that was when he was told that the body of a girl had been found near a tomb. He went to see who it was, and saw that it was Chrissy.

The family strongly objected to a report that Chrissy was at the Club Elite Disco in the Princess Casino, because she was not dressed to go to a club, and moreover, she had made arrangements with her friend to go to her house, said Vilma.

They are calling on the police to conduct a proper investigation, and get to the bottom of the senseless murder. They will not relent in their efforts until they get justice, the family said.

Chryslin’s friends and classmates are planning a candlelight vigil and a protest rally denouncing the senseless murder. The event is to be held later in the week. Funeral arrangements are being made for Saturday, August 9.

Vilma said that Chrissy will be buried next to her (Vilma’s) mother. A wake will be held on Friday.

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