'Come home, safe'

'Come home, safe'

Guardian begs 15-year-old girl to return to family

BY RACQUEL PORTER
Observer staff reporter
porterr@jamaicaobserver

Saturday, December 14, 2019

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THE legal guardian of 15-year-old Diamond Jewel Swain Miller, who has been missing since December 9, is desperately hoping that she is safe, wherever she is.

“Whatever you are going through, you don't have to be alone. We want you to be safe and come home safe,” Diamond's guardian Ava Tomlinson appealed yesterday.

Tomlinson told the Jamaica Observer that Diamond, who she described as a resilient teenager, had some challenges recently and, as a result, she was placed in State care.

According to her, Diamond, who had been residing at a girls home in Clarendon for two weeks, left the facility for school at Central High in the parish. However, she did not return to the home.

On December 10 administrators at the home filed a missing person report at Chapelton Police Station in the parish.

Tomlinson also reported Diamond missing in Mandeville, Manchester, and was referred to police stations in Clarendon, where she also filed reports.

Having not received a release saying that an Ananda Alert has been activated for Diamond, the Observer yesterday made enquiries. A police officer assigned to the constabulary's Corporate Communications Unit, after making numerous checks, said there had been a breakdown in communication and an Ananda Alert would be sent out.

A press release was subsequently received from the unit.

According to the release, Diamond is of brown complexion, slim build and about five foot three inches tall.

Reports from the Chapelton police are that Diamond was last seen leaving for school. She was dressed in a white blouse and a brown tunic. All efforts to contact her since have proven futile.

Child Protection and Family Services Agency Public Relations and Communications Manager Rochelle Dixon told the Observer yesterday that the agency is aware of the incident and will continue to work with the police to locate Diamond.

“All missing children report[s] [are] blasted through our social media pages, and we work with the families and the community, offering counselling support,” Dixon said.

At the same time, Dixon appealed to every Jamaican who has information that could assist investigators to contact the police. The Chapelton police can be contacted at (876) 987-2244, or they can call the police 119 emergency number or the nearest police station.

The National Children's Registry recently reported a reduction in reports of missing children for last year.

A total of 1,512 children were reported missing in 2018, which is the lowest figure since the establishment of the Ananda Alert system in 2009.

In 2017 a total of 1,674 children were reported missing, with 1,476 returning home. There is a 90 per cent return/recovery rate of missing children in Jamaica.


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