THE recent abductions of nine-year-old Phylisa Prussia and 13-year-old Winshae Barrett are affecting another St Thomas minor, who finds it hard to stay at home alone.
Sidia Crockshank, 13, is the one facing that challenge.
With smartphone in one hand, pencil in another and a book laid out in front of her, Crockshank was observed participating in online school at the Morant Bay Market. She told the Jamaica Observer that she is more comfortable accompanying her mother and grandmother there every day.
“I feel like he is in the house. I'm afraid to be in the house by myself. I don't feel no way coming here. I am alright here and I am learning,” the student of Port Morant Primary and Junior High School said, as she glanced at her younger brother, six-year-old Antoine Bailey, who is also attending online classes.
“I don't like staying at home by myself,” Crockshank explained. “I hope them catch him soon,” she added.
Meanwhile, her 56-year-old grandmother, Petrona Walters, told the Sunday Observer she that did not dismiss her granddaughter's fears and made the decision to keep her grandchildren close by, while she sells her produce in the market.
“I get 'fraid to leave them at home. I used to leave them with them great-grandmother at home but she cyaa manage, but you see what is going on now and how they are taking away the kids from them? I prefer them come with me,”' Walters said.
According to Walters, the family of five lives on Lyssons Road, some 45 miles away from Bath, but despite the distance she said she does not feel “good” if they are not beside her.
“Mi not leaving them [her grandchildren]. Dem can stay here and go school; for now I think this is best,” Walters stated. “If mi leave, dem mi a go fret whole day. Once me can see them, me alright,” she continued, noting that all the adults have to work and so there is no one to stay with the children at their home.
Recently, Prussia was abducted from her home in Bath, resulting in hundreds of people – police and army personnel, and members of the community – searching for her. She was found alive last Saturday morning.
Barrett went missing around 4:00 pm last Saturday evening while she was tending to pigs along with her older sister. She was subsequently found on Monday by a similar search party.
Police are still searching for the prime suspect in the abductions – Davian Bryan, whom they say is before the court on rape and illegal possession of firearm charges in the neighbouring parish of Portland.