DUANVALE, Trelawny - Grief -stricken residents of this farming community are desperately clinging on to a thin thread of hope that well-loved community member, 36-year-old Natoya Whyte, affectionately called 'Sensi,' who has gone missing for more than five weeks, will be found alive.
" I don't think she is dead. I don't know where she is, but I don't give up hope that she is alive, Whyte's 17- year-old son Jamar Jarrett," told the Observer West.
A similar sentiment was expressed by Whyte's former mother-in-law, 76-year-old Daphne Brown.
"I believe seh them kidnap her and have her somewhere so me looking for her to come back," she argued.
The residents who have been shell-shocked by the disappearance of the amicable Whyte, are also making an urgent appeal for financial assistance for her five children who are now in the care of the elderly Brown.
" The children will want help to attend school now and college later on," said Venesia Hall, one of several Duanvale residents who gathered at the home where the children now stay, when the Observer West visited the community earlier this week.
On Friday, April 27, the children were left under the control of the senior citizen, Brown. Whyte was expected to pick them up, upon her return from work in Falmouth during the night.
But, Brown recounted that about 9:00pm on that fateful night, she received a call from Whyte who said she had left work. Whyte, however, failed to fulfil her promise to "call again," as soon as she had reached the Duanvale community where she and her children reside.
"She said when she call mi should send them (children) up to me at the gate. But until now me don't receive no call," bemoaned the elderly woman, who stared blankly into space.
According to some area residents, Whyte, who was reportedly last spotted in Falmouth with two grocery bags shortly after 9:00pm on April 27, headed for the taxi stands after receiving a telephone call.
The despairing residents say calls to Whyte's cellular phone now go straight to voicemail.
Whyte's disappearance has terribly shaken her five children.
" One of the little ones is so devastated he said he want to get a gun when he becomes big to kill the person who took his mother, and the little girl is crying how her mommy say she soon come back and gone leave her," Brown noted.
Meantime, the disappearance is also affecting Brown's health.
" I am so sad, it is affecting me so much. I went to doctor last week Tuesday and my pressure was so high," she lamented.
In the meantime, the distraught residents are accusing the police of not doing enough to find their beloved community member.
"The police not doing anything. They should have a manhunt for her (Whyte). We take it up and put it on our heads to search all around for days but the police not doing that," an angry resident alleges.
But according to the Constabulary Communication Network (CCN), the National Intelligence Bureau (NIB), which has in recent weeks intensified their probe into the matter, are working assiduously to establish more solid leads in the case.
The NIB reportedly took over investigation because the police have suspected foul play, the CCN said.