Desiree Gibbon, a model from New York City, was found dead in Jamaica on Sunday morning. According to the New York Daily News, her body was discovered on the side of a road in the northwestern town of Anchovy. Her throat had been slit.
Residents had spotted the bloody body in the bushes and reported the sighting to the police. Gibbon had apparently been in Jamaica to look for work in order to save money for film school.
“We were very close, so you can imagine, when I got the news, ‘devastated’ doesn’t begin to describe it ... She wanted to travel to countries and try things and experience cultures,” said the victim's mother, Andrea Cali-Gibbon, who had been planning to visit her daughter (with Gibbon's father) on Friday.
“The brutality is what killed me. She was beaten and had her throat sliced open,” Cali-Gibbon continued. “She was a tough cookie. I know she fought until she drew her last breath. I know she did. And I’m certain that her last thought was, ‘Will my mom be OK if I don’t make it?’”
Gibbon had been staying at a hotel in the area that her grandmother owned while bartending and seeking out additional employment.
Police identified Gibbon by taking photos of the body to nearby resorts and hotels, eventually finding her grandmother's business. The coroner's office has yet to officially determine the cause of death.
Gibbon's death is part of a spree of murders on the island over the past weekend. Eleven others were killed.
Gibbon's family has started a GoFundMe campaign in order to help bring Desiree's body back to the States and to pay for funeral costs.