Desiree Gibbon, 26, was spending about a month on her father’s home island, staying at a hotel that her grandmother owns in the tourist destination of Montego Bay.
The model was looking for work as a bartender so that she could go to film school in Europe to hone her craft as a documentary filmmaker.
But on Sunday, residents in the town of Anchovy found Gibbon’s remains in some bushes on the side of the road. She had been badly beaten and her throat had been slashed.
Days later, her family are still struggling to come up with an explanation for what happened.
Her mother Andrea Gibbon, (pictured above) back in Queens, New York, spoke to reporters and said she thinks that whoever is responsible knew her daughter.
‘My belief is it was a cold, calculated, planned out murder,’ she told CBS New York. ‘It wasn’t a random act of violence. It is somebody she knew, somebody she trusted, and somebody who betrayed her.’
She added to ABC: ‘She has family down there. She has cousins. She met a lot of new people that she had been hanging out for the last three weeks or so. So, she was comfortable with these new people she had met.’
Her father, who didn’t give his name, told the Jamaica Observer that he believes his daughter was ‘lured’ from her grandmother’s hotel ‘because she had nothing on her’.
Her mother added that Gibbon was especially safe when travelling.
‘She never traveled by herself. She didn’t leave the hotel by herself. She always left with somebody,’ Andrea Gibbon said. ‘They would take a car service provided by the hotel and the same driver would take them and drop them and bring them back.’
Her mother is also skeptical that she would have visited a small town like Anchovy, which is about four miles from her grandmother’s hotel in Montego Bay.
‘In a bush in the country where she would never have traveled, not ever. It was an isolated desolate area, nothing there,’ she said.
Gibbon’s uncle Claude also spoke out, and said police officers told him that they were looking for two women they think might be connected to the crime.
Claude Gibbon says he was the first person in the family to find out about Desiree’s death, when a police officer came to the hotel with a picture of her dead body and asked him to identify it.
‘The officer who came here told me he had people to question two young ladies,’ he told the New York Daily News.
Claude added that nothing seemed out of the ordinary in the days before his niece’s disappearance.
‘She was gone for a few days, but it wasn’t anything that was uncommon,’ he said. ‘She’d sometimes go in and out.’
He says he grew worried when she didn’t return on Monday.
Authorities have released no information on any leads they are pursuing.
Gibbon’s mother hopes that her daughter fought back and has some DNA of her killer left on her body.
‘I’m hoping that in her fight, she has obtained some DNA, whether under her fingernails, on her body or her teeth, somewhere,’ she told NBC New York.
She’s pictured with her boyfriend, who didn’t go with her to Jamaica…