Tue | Oct 16, 2018

Relatives of missing August Town teenager fear she's dead

Published:Wednesday | July 25, 2018 | 12:00 AMCorey Robinson/Gleaner Writer

Relatives of a missing 13-year-old girl are worried about the well-being of the teenager who they speculate ran away from home to be with an older lover.

They believe that Shanoya ran away from the family's Bedward Gardens home in August Town, St Andrew, to be with the man who they claimed was a teacher at her school and who was 14 years older than her.

"All of us went to bed Sunday night and when we woke the next morning, we didn't see her in the bed or in her mother's room. So everybody started wondering where Shanoya was," said a relative of Shanoya, who declined to be named as she feared for her safety.

"When my mother got up, she saw a bucket at the gate that we use to throw garbage in. It was turned upside down and we believe Shanoya used the bucket to stand up on before jumping over the gate," the relative added, noting that a report was made to the police later that Monday morning.

Days later, they were called by the investigators, who told them that a body had been found at a house and the child's mother should come in and undergo a DNA test.

The findings of those tests have so far been inconclusive, as the body found by the police was reportedly extensively decomposed, and appeared to be badly burned by her killer(s).

This has sparked much speculation within Shanoya's household, said the relative, who claimed that last year, the child disappeared from school and was later found by the police in the accused teacher's home.

He was subsequently charged with carnal abuse and has since been before the courts. But that didn't stop the teenager from making contact with him behind their back.

"This relationship started in seventh grade unbeknown to us; and she said that he was her boyfriend because she was trying to justify it," said the relative.

"We are now being told that no autopsy can be done on the body because the persons who are doing the body refuse to touch it because of how badly burned it is," explained the relative, who begged persons with information to come forward and help.

corey.robinson@gleanerjm.com