A Navy culinary specialist is charged with hiring three men in Jamaica to kidnap and kill the 10-month-old daughter of a prominent Jamaican politician and the baby’s mother. The burned remains of the child and her mother were found earlier this month.

Leoda Bradshaw, a Navy cook assigned to a Miami recruiting unit, was charged in Kingston, Jamaica last week with hiring three local men to kidnap and kill Toshyna Patterson, who prosecutors say she saw as a romantic rival, and her 10-month-old daughter, Sarahay.

The dead child’s father is a prominent politician in Jamaica who is also the father of Bradshaw’s own 8-year-old daughter, prosecutors say.

The grisly murders and the central role of a famous politician have made the story front-page news in the island nation since Toshyna and Sarahay disappeared on September 9.

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Bradshaw, prosecutors said, flew to Jamaica in early September “with the sole purpose of killing Toshyna Patterson and the young child” after Bradshaw learned of Patterson’s relationship with the man.

The Navy confirmed to Task & Purpose that Culinary Specialist Seaman Leoda Bradshaw is assigned to Navy Talent Acquisition Group Miami, a recruiting center. She was arrested in Jamaica on October 5, according to Jamaican authorities, and was formally charged in a Kingston courtroom last Friday, October 13 with the death of Toshyna and Sarahay Patterson.

“Both were brutally murdered and their bodies disposed of,” Kingston Deputy Commissioner of Police Fitz Bailey said in a press conference Friday. “It is one of the most painful investigations for the team since recent times.”

Bradshaw faces two counts of conspiracy to murder, two counts of conspiracy to kidnapping, two counts of kidnapping, and two counts of murder.

According to prosecutors in Jamaica and entries on Bradshaw’s Facebook page, the politician at the center of the case is Phillip Paulwell, a member of the Jamaican parliament, the former head of the country’s Science, Technology, Energy and Mining ministry, and oversees a Caribbean-wide telecommunications agency.

Paulwell offered a $500,000 public reward two days after Patterson and her daughter disappeared from their home in St. Andrews, just outside Kingston.

Bradshaw posted on her Facebook September 10 — the day after Patterson and her baby disappeared — that her daughter was Paulwell’s and denied any role in the Pattersons disappearance. “I have a daughter with Mr. Phillip Paulwell and we are in a long-term relationship. I wish to state categorically that I have absolutely nothing to do with the disappearance of Ms. Toshyna Patterson and her baby girl,” Patterson wrote.

The post lays out a narrative of small online interactions with Patterson while claiming to have “never spoken to her by phone nor have I made any arrangements to meet with her.”

But prosecutors say that it was in those online interactions that Bradshaw learned that 10-month-old Sarahay Patterson’s father was Paulwell.

Prosecutors say Bradshaw then paid three men to kidnap and kill Patterson and her child, paying $100,000 Jamaican dollars — about $640 in US dollars — and agreeing to pay $400,000 more after the killings.

Charged along with Bradshaw on Friday were Roland Balfour, Roshane Miller, and Richard Brown. Balfour, prosecutors say, is Bradshaw’s cousin. 

In a statement sent to Task & Purpose, a spokesperson for Navy Recruiting Command said “The Navy takes all allegations of misconduct seriously and is fully cooperating with appropriate investigative and law enforcement authorities. The matter is currently under investigation by Jamaican authorities and the Navy Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS).”

Bradshaw joined the Navy in 2020, according to her service record provided to Task & Purpose. After boot camp and Culinary ‘A’ School at Fort Gregg-Adams, Virginia (formerly Fort Lee), Bradshaw was assigned for nine months to Electronic Attack Squadron 134 at Whidbey Island, Washington, a unit that flies the F/A-18 Growler. She transferred to a Naval Reserve center in Miami in June 2021 and to the Talent Acquisition Group two months later.

The Navy did not clarify her status as active duty or her day-to-day duties in Miami. Though Jamaican media has referred to Bradshaw as “Naval Officer” or “Petty Officer,” her service record indicates she was a Culinary Specialist Seaman in the E-3 pay grade, a rank generally commensurate with her reported time in service.

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