UPDATE: Missing St James twin found in unathorised mother's care
Nine-year-old twin Yahamalit and Tiwahrisah Holness

ST JAMES, Jamaica - An alarm made by a social worker at the Children Protection and Family Services Agency (CPFSA), is said to have triggered a missing persons alert for nine-year-old twin Yahamalit and Tiwahrisah Holness.

According to head of Area One Police Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Clifford Chambers, the young children were found hours after the missing person alert was released by the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) in their mother’s care, which is unauthorised.

READ: Missing 9-y-o St James twin located

“Our work has subsequently led us to realise that a State agency is involved and a social worker assigned to the CPFSA was in contact with the person to whom the kids should be in their care and custody,” Chambers explained.

“That person allowed the mother to take the children over the holiday weekend, so when the social worker was making contact with the person who has care and custody of them, which is ordered by the court, that person was not able to account for them. They stated that the children were with the mother.”

Chambers said this is when the social worker raised an alarm with the police to help locate the young girl and boy.

READ: 9-y-o St James twin reported missing

“Efforts to contact the mother proved futile and so, the social worker reported them missing to the [Corporate Communications Unit] CCU, not to any station in Area One or the Montego Hills Police Station that has jurisdiction over Norwood where the mother is from,” Chambers told the OBSERVER ONLINE.

While acting on intelligence, ACP Chambers stated, the mother and children were located by the police in their Norwood community.

“Our team was able to contact the mother last night and when we were trying to locate exactly where she was, communication went bad. But early this morning the team went on the prowl and they were able to locate the mother and the twin children. They took control of them and took them to the station to ensure that all is well,” he said.

The children were eventually handed over to the State agency where they remain until the matter is sorted, said Chambers .

“We eventually took them to the [Montego Bay] Family Court, which is the same location of the CPFSA office, and handed them over to the court. As it is now, they are in State care,” Chamber told the OBSERVER ONLINE.

Though the information surrounding the children’s removal from the care of their mother cold not be ascertained, Chambers noted that she is unauthorised to have custody. The OBSERVER ONLINE understands that the children were supposed to be returned to foster care on June 14.

“I think the authority to speak on that would be CPSFA because the matter went to Court not by the volition of the police, but by the social worker, so they would be able to say why and if the mother was ordered to be psychologically evaluated. But what we know is that the matter is at the Family Court and that the mother ought not to have custody of the children. What we also know is that they are presently in State care until further decision is made by the court,” Chambers said.

A well-placed OBSERVER ONLINE source has revealed that after the children were removed from the custody of their mother, they were placed in the care of an individual who is not a relative.

Responding to queries on how the children were reportedly last seen on June 14 yet a missing persons release only materialised on Wednesday, Chambers said the mix-up must have come from the CPFSA’s office.

“That date is what was provided to them. In other words, if a person makes a formal report and gives a date then we have to work with that date until other verification takes place. But based on my understanding, the social worker became aware that the kids might not have been in the care and custody of the person, who based on the courts should have them, since that date. I can’t say CCU released an incorrect date…that was just what was reported to them by the social worker."

-Rochelle Clayton

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