Trust your mother’s intuition and choose your friends wisely.
This is Shelly Ann Pierre’s advice after her brother Samuel Pierre, 20, drowned while hunting with friends last Friday.
Initial reports say Samuel got into difficulties when he tried to cross the Cipero River to catch an iguana on the other side. Eyewitnesses said he struggled for several minutes before he disappeared below the water.
Coast Guard divers found Samuel’s body near the mouth of the river on Sunday after a two-day search.
When Newsday visited Samuel’s family at their Pleasantville home on Monday, a dejected Pierre told Newsday she and their mother, Sharon De Breau, had warned him not to go out that day.
“We tell him to stay home with his grandmother, I told him, 'Do not go anywhere…stay home.
“It’s not every time your friends call you that you go. Choose your friends wisely.'
“Lord, why this have to happen? This is the worst I’ve ever felt. Everybody broke down.
“I’m watching a picture of him on my phone and saying, 'Samuel, why you do this to me?'"
Pierre said Samuel, a handyman, was a good sibling to his three brothers and two sisters. He was also close to his grandmother, whose birthday was the day before his January 31 birthday.
Pierre had a particularly close bond with him and the two would often watch Naruto together, which is why she nicknamed him “Sai,” after one of the show’s characters.
“We shared many, many memories and he was a good fella. Everybody loved him.
“He loved to eat healthy food. He don’t like barbecue and all those things, he like pumpkin and those kind of foods. He also like to lift weights.”
The family is yet to arrange Samuel’s funeral, Pierre wasn't sure she would have the strength to endure the proceedings.
In fact, she couldn't go with De Breau to identify his body when it was recovered on Sunday.
At the time of Newsday’s visit to the family home, De Breau was at the Forensic Science Centre, St James, for Samuel’s autopsy.
Investigations into his drowning are continuing.