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Clarendon brothers return home two days after going missing

Runaway brothers stayed in old container in neighbouring community

BY KIMMO MATTHEWS Observer staff reporter matthewsk@jamaicaobserver.com

Thursday, August 07, 2014    

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THREE brothers who went missing from their home in Palmer's Cross, in the central parish of Clarendon on Sunday, were reunited with their parents late Tuesday, ending two days of agonising search by residents and the police.

Superintendent Maurice Robinson, who heads the Clarendon Police Division, told the Jamaica Observer yesterday that the boys — 13-year-old Dwight Phipps and his two younger siblings, Omar, 11, and Kemar, 8 — returned home safely late Tuesday evening.

Police said the three ran away from their home after Kemar was scolded by their mother. This triggered an islandwide search by residents and the police.

Yesterday, as residents in Clarendon celebrated the boys' return, none were happier than parents Ann-Marie and Tyrone Phipps.

"Right now words can't express how I feel. Since they left home, I have hardly eaten," explained the boys' father as he sat on the verandah at his home, with Dwight, Omar and Kemar sitting nearby.

"I am just giving thanks; it is truly a blessing to see that they have returned home, especially with what is happening to children all around," said Ann-Marie, her eyes showing signs of a lack of sleep.

Explaining the events that led up to the boys' departure, the woman admitted that she scolded Kemar and also turned down a request the three had made to attend the Denbigh Agricultural, Industrial and Food Show that was being held in the parish on the weekend.

"When mi scold him, it look like the other two never like it so they all came together, went into my room took out $2,600 and left home," said the mother, her emotions switching from sorrow to joy as she reflected on the moment.

She said the boys told her that they stayed in an old container in the neighbouring community of Twin Palm Estate.

"Mi hear seh dem all use some of the money to purchase peanut that they sold back in the market and used the returns to purchase food," she shared with the Observer.

She said she could not sleep for the two days they were missing.

"Each day I would just leave the house and walk the streets searching for the children, also praying and keeping my fingers crossed," she told the Observer yesterday, adding that she would us the unfortunate event as a learning experience.

Her husband, meanwhile, said he smoked cigarettes to calm his nerves.

"To the way mi start smoke, mi start use one cigarette to light the other," he said.

He said that it was when his hope began to fade that the boys returned home.

Yesterday police issued a call for parents to be more responsible in monitoring the movements of their children.

"What this shows is that parents have to be more sensitive to needs and feelings of their children. It is very important for parents to listen to their children," said Superintendent Robinson.

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