Annaleise found - Bittersweet reunion as 10-y-o is put in state care - Woman to be charged for breaching Child Care Act
Published: Friday | October 16, 2009
Students at the Duhaney park Primary School take time out to praise God for the safe return of Annaleise Davis yesterday. - photos by Norman Grindley/Chief Photographer
The two-day long search for 10-year-old Annaleise Davis ended on a positive note yesterday, but the mystery surrounding the disappearance of the child is far from solved.
So far, the police have taken one woman into custody in connection with the disappearance, but they are still trying to piece together the puzzle.
What is already known is that Annaleise was left at the Duhaney Park Primary School on Tuesday morning for music classes, even though the grade-four student is on the evening shift.
At 5 that evening, her parents went to pick her up at the usual meeting place at the school gate, but she was not there.
A search of the premises confirmed that the child had left school. The matter was reported to the police and a search launched.
About 8:30 yesterday morning, a woman turned up at the Cross Roads Police Station with a child fitting the description of Annaleise and wearing the Duhaney Park Primary School uniform.
Gap of mystery
The police were quick to verify that this was the missing child and her parents were contacted.
However, what happened in the 48 hours between the disappearance and the return of the youngster remains a mystery.
Investigations by The Gleaner revealed that the youngster might have taken a bus to Half-Way Tree, where she attached herself to a woman late Tuesday evening.
According to Gleaner sources, the woman took the child home and allowed her to stay there until the disappearance was reported in the media on Wednesday evening and yesterday morning.
That was when she decided to turn over the apparently unharmed child to the police.
However, last night, this was yet to be corroborated by investigators.
"I cannot, at this stage, give details as you will realise that progress in this case happened very quickly," Superintendent Delroy Hewitt, head of the St Andrew South Police, told journalists during a hastily called press conference yesterday.
"So I await the results of the medical investigation and the interview."
However, Hewitt was adamant that the woman who returned the child would be charged for breaching the Child Care and Protection Act.
"Section 58 of the act tells us that assisting or inducing any child to run away from a fit person is an offence," Hewitt said.
He gushed in his praise for the many members of the public who provided information on the child and for members of the police force who went beyond the call of duty in their search for Annaleise.
However, there was still no joy for Annaleise's parents, as yesterday evening Karl Angell, Jamaica Constabulary Force's director of communication, told The Gleaner that the little girl had been taken from her parents and put into state custody.
"This follows new developments in the case, but we cannot speak to it right now," Angell said.