Unity girl, 17, reported kidnapped

-family receives text message ransom demand

A 17-year old Unity, Mahaica girl was allegedly being held against her will last evening and her parents were inconsolable as they carried out search efforts to locate her.

Police said in a statement that Loretta Persaud, called ‘Stephanie,’ left her home at about 9:30 am on Wednesday this week for computer classes at Middle Street, Georgetown, and has not returned home since. Further, during the day on Thursday, a relative received text messages demanding a ransom of $300,000 for her safe return.

When this newspaper visited the girl’s home at Mahaica, her parents and other relatives were reluctant to speak to the media, with one relative noting that the girl’s mother did not wish to have information on the teen disclosed to the media.

Another relative noted, however, that the family was traumatised by the entire situation.

The relative said that the text messages relating to the ransom demanded by the kidnappers were being sent from the teen’s mobile phone.

She said the child’s father, a cash crop farmer, had been in contact with the police ever since the family received the text messages and she noted too that the family remains hopeful that the girl, the eldest of three children, will return home safely.

When questioned whether the teenager, who will celebrate her 18th birthday in August, had been experiencing problems at home, the woman noted that the Persaud has been an assistant pastor at a nearby church. “She is not that kinda person that would run away from home,” the relative said.

According to police, investigations are continuing.

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