‘It’s a bad dream:’ Daughter numb after Winnipeg couple killed in Jamaica

WINNIPEG — The daughter of a Winnipeg couple killed in Jamaica says she will travel there to see her parents one last time and make sure their deaths are thoroughly investigated.

“It’s not real, it can’t be real, it’s a bad dream,” said Debbie Olfert, whose parents Melbourne Flake, 81, and Etta Flake, 70, were found dead Tuesday morning. “They’re going to come home. This is all going to be over.

“I need to see them. I need to see them even in the state they are in. I need to see them. Until I see them, I won’t believe it.”

Jamaican police have confirmed they are investigating the deaths as homicides.

Olfert said her mother was suffocated and her father was beaten in an apparent botched robbery.

“One of the reports was burglary gone wrong,” said Olfert. “There was no forced entry.”

Family members believe they were likely killed by someone they know, because the home was as secure as “Fort Knox.”

Melbourne, known as Jerry, and Etta Flake had lived in Winnipeg for 53 years after immigrating to Canada with two daughters, including Debbie. They had two more daughters and a son — as well as grandchildren and great-grandchildren — in Canada. They now live in Vancouver, Toronto, Florida and Georgia.

Her father retired as a carpenter with the Department of National Defence and her mother retired after years as a nurse.

The couple had been spending their winters in either Florida or Jamaica, Olfert said. They both started spending more time in Jamaica after her father built a home there a few years ago.

Olfert, the eldest of the siblings, said they are making plans to go to Jamaica to see that her parents get a proper burial and a thorough police investigation. There have already been dozens of homicides in Jamaica this year, she said.

“The rate of homicides in Jamaica has been absolutely ridiculous,” she said.

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