'Ananda Alert' - Programme to search for missing children launched

Published: Wednesday | May 20, 2009

Nardia Campbell, mother of the late Ananda Dean, observes a minute of silence to remember the nation's missing children during the official launch of the 'Ananda Alert' system at Jamaica House in St Andrew yesterday. Beside her is a photograph of her murdered daughter. - Ricardo Makyn/Staff Photographer

Just over 230 days ago, the nation reacted with shock and horror as news broke that a body found in Red Hills, St Andrew, was that of 11-year-old Ananda Dean.

Yesterday, Ananda's death gave birth to a programme aimed at finding missing children as quickly as possible.

"We are today not laying any flowers on her grave. What we are seeking to do today is something that we hope is much more lasting, much more valuable and that is to ensure that what happened to Ananda does not happen to any child in the future," declared Prime Minister Bruce Golding yesterday, minutes after the 'Ananda Alert' was launched at Jamaica House in St Andrew.

Police tips

Once your child is missing, you should

1 Try immediately to contact friends, relatives and associates of the child.

2 Go to your local police station and file a missing person report. Do NOT wait 24 hours.

3 In attending that station, take a most recent photograph of the missing child.

4 Ensure that you are given a receipt by the police after making your report. If you are not satisfied with the response of the police, ask for the station supervisor or superintendent in charge.

5 If you locate the child before the police, inform them immediately.