Berbice cousins missing in interior

After almost a month with no word from them, a frantic search has started for two Berbician cousins who were last heard from at 14 Mile, Issano.

Odel Downer of Number 8 Village, West Coast Berbice (WCB) and Winston Johashen, of Number 9 Village, WCB, both 20, had started working as miners only about three months ago before their disappearance sometime in May.

Merlyn Downer, the mother of Odel, explained that this is the longest she has ever been out of contact with her eldest son. She last spoke to him on May 29 and had found it peculiar when she did not hear from him again. “He wouldn’t call every day but at least every other day I would hear from him,” she said.

Missing: Odel Downer, 20
Missing: Odel Downer, 20
Missing: Winston Johashen, 20
Missing: Winston Johashen, 20

She realised something was definitely wrong, she added, when Father’s Day passed without any word from Odel. She immediately began calling anyone who would be able to assist her in her search.

Her calls eventually led to Mursha Johashen, her cousin and the mother of the second missing youth. It was then, Mursha said, she too realised something was truly amiss with her own unreachable son.

When contact was made with the duo’s employer late last week, the mothers were informed that the two young men had “broken camp” and left in the middle of the night, never to be seen since.

However, the mothers do not believe this tale. “I would talk to Odel regularly and he never said anything about being unhappy with the job or wanting to leave. He would constantly tell me that he likes it,” Merlyn maintained.

The mothers also opined that the theory of the boys’ running away is strange. “It seems fishy to me,” they said. “Very fishy; it’s unlike them both.”

A report has already been lodged with the police. In the meantime, the mothers will continue their own desperate search.

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