Relatives believe missing girl being held against will

A 16-year-old girl has been missing since last Thursday and her relatives believe she is being held against her will because of a problem her captor may have with her father.

They have reportedly sent a message to him informing that “what go around come around.”

Dashawna Small left her Lot 1 Bagotsville, West Demerara home sometime on Thursday after receiving a call on her mobile phone. At the time she was wearing a dark blue jersey with a pair of light blue jeans.

Thecia Arthur, with whom the teenager lives, told Stabroek News that when she left Thursday morning her sister was expected to go to school but she later told her brother-in-law that she had an assignment to complete and was going to do so at home. However, Thecia said her husband later told her that the teenager received a call on her phone and left the house hurriedly without saying where she was off to.
From Thursday night to last evening the family has been frantically looking for the teenager and while all calls to her mobile phone have gone answered some relatives have been receiving text messages purportedly from someone who is holding the child captive and who hinted that she is being held because of a problem with her father.

According Thecia, her sister, who is also known as Shawna, up to last November was living with her father in Buxton but because the man was seldom at home she was later relocated to her home.

Other relatives who were present during the interview said that the father reportedly had problem with persons and would absent himself from the house so when persons visited the house he was never there. Shawna on many occasions was left with her young siblings, born to another woman, and also operated a shop that the father has.

Since the child went missing they said they contacted the father who said he knew nothing about her whereabouts while stating that he was convinced that she was with her boyfriend, a policeman who is now stationed in Berbice.

The sister said while she did not approve of the relationship when Shawna went to live with her the two were already dating as her father had encouraged the relationship. She said since her sister has been living with her the man only visited her home once, as for the past five months he has been in Berbice, and her sister as far as she knows never went on any dates with him.

“But she is always on her cell phone,” the woman commented.

Contact was made with the boyfriend and initially Thecia said he sounded as if he did not care that Shawna was missing and this got relatives very upset. They at one time suspected that he knew more than he was telling but after contact was made with his superior at the station he operates out of they learnt that the only time he had left the location in recent times was to go on patrols and that no female had visited him recently.

Thecia said the young man told them that he has had no conversation with Shawna’s father recently and he does not understand why the man is saying the child is with him.

“Whenever we call the phone it would either go straight to voice mail or ring out then if it is a number they don’t know they would call back but wouldn’t say anything,” Thecia told Stabroek News.

One of the text messages a sister of the teenager received said: “I am sorry Shama [believed to be Shawna] is not allow to talk on the phone let me guess u is Hilton child too if so call him and tell him what go around come around.”
The sister said the boyfriend has also said he received similar text messages.

On Saturday Shawna called another sister’s number and was crying and calling for “Toya, Toya” which is the name of her sister. She had dialled the phone before but no one answered but a voice mail was recorded of her crying.

“How she crying is like she is being pressured like she is fighting for control,” her sister said.
Thecia related that Shawna is the last of five daughters for her mother who is overseas and while she attempts to befriend her she prefers to confide in a younger sister. She said Shawna is only allowed to go on church outings with her sister and from school she goes to lessons.
“I spoke to her and I told her if her boyfriend really loves her he would allow her to finish secondary school because she only have one more year in school,” the sister said.

The matter has since been reported to the police and, according to the relatives, police at the Vigilance Station indicated that they would question the child’s father to ascertain whether he has any serious problems with anyone.

“I believe she is being held against her will because she wouldn’t put her family through this and her father has to know more than he is saying, he use to have problem with people that is one of the reasons she was removed from the home,” a relative said yesterday.

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