Mississauga man found dead in Cuba
Published on Friday August 24, 2012
MISSISSAUGA NEWS Odaine "Horace" Lumley of Mississauga reportedly died
at a Cuban hotel after falling off a balcony this week. Authorites are
investigating the incident.
Laura Kane and Jacques Gallant
A Mississauga family is seeking answers after 22-year-old Horace
"Odaine" Lumley was found dead this week at a Cuban hotel.
Lumley's half-sister, Monique Lewis, said her family first heard of the
death from friends Wednesday.
Lumley, who was born in Jamaica and moved to Mississauga as a preteen,
left for Cuba on his "first real vacation" last Friday, Lewis said.
He travelled with a group of coworkers to the Barcelo Solymar Arenas
Blancas Resort on Varadero Beach.
"He wanted to relax, because he was always working so hard," Lewis said,
her voice breaking. "I still can't believe this happened."
His family is still trying to piece together what happened the night he
died. The last time he was seen alive, his coworkers had left him behind
at the hotel with a young woman he had met at the resort, Lewis said.
When they returned, Lumley had fallen 16 metres to his death from the
third-floor balcony, she said.
"At first I thought it was an accident . . . we're beginning to get more
and more suspicious."
The Canadian embassy has been working with the Cuban police, Lewis said.
But she still has unanswered questions, such as the whereabouts of the
young woman and why Lumley's cellphone SIM card had apparently been
cleared when it was returned.
Lumley, a graduate of The Woodlands secondary school, grew up with
Lewis, her brother Gregory, and her mother and father in a small
townhouse in the Erindale Woodlands neighbourhood of Mississauga.
Lumley was the youngest of their father's children, she said.
He was well-known in the close-knit community. He often helped elderly
neighbours with their groceries, Lewis said.
"Everyone who knew him says he was fun-loving, charismatic, handsome and
friendly," she said. "But the biggest thing is that he was ambitious . .
. That's why my family moved here, to have opportunities and to give us
a better life."
He had been working as a sales representative but was supposed to begin
an electrical engineering course at Humber College in September, Lewis said.
The Department of Foreign Affairs confirmed in an email to the Starthat
consular officials are assisting the family of a Canadian who died in
Cuba, but declined to give further details, citing privacy reasons.
Lumley's father, Tony, is a cook at Piatto Bistro in Mississauga. Staff
there said he hasn't been in since Wednesday.
Friends took to social media this week to mourn Lumley's death.
"Rip odaine lumley — gone and never forgotten xo," tweeted one person,
while another wrote "R.I.P. Odaine holy lifes way to short, god bless."