Livern Barrett, Gleaner Writer
Family in agony as postal-service security officer goes missing
Sitting up in bed at a medical centre in St Andrew yesterday, Melissa Davis cried inconsolably as she continued the agonising wait to get some information on the disappearance of her father.
Relatives claim Barrington Davis, 43, the deputy chief of security at the Jamaica Postal Service, and a female companion identified as Patricia Lurmot-Barnswell, 53, were abducted from his St John's Heights home in St Catherine shortly before 11 on Wednesday night and had not been seen or heard from since.
Sweets Lawrence, a close family friend who also acted as spokesperson, said the house was "turned upside down" and Davis' motor car, a silver Nissan Tiida licensed 8313 ED, was missing.
But even as concerns mounted about Davis' safety in the hours following his disappearance, relatives and friends were also keeping a close eye on Melissa, who was devastated by the news.
She wept in the arms of a friend during a visit by The Gleaner and, according to Lawrence, Melissa had stopped speaking and eating.
By late afternoon, she had to be taken to see a psychiatrist.
"She has been crying all day," Lawrence said of the Northern Caribbean University student who is scheduled to start classes next week.
PUTTING PIECES TOGETHER
Late yesterday, director of communications for the Jamaica Constabulary Force, Karl Angell, said Davis was still being treated as a missing person.
"At 4:30 p.m., the police are concerned and we are treating the matter with haste and the investigators are on the job trying to put the pieces together and we are, for the moment, treating the matter as a missing person," Angell told The Gleaner.
The police later issued a release asking for the public's help in finding the two.
The police say Davis is of dark complexion, medium build and about 5 feet 10 inches tall while Lurmot-Barnswell is said to be of slim build, dark complexion and about 5 feet 4 inches tall.
The Spanish Town police reported that the two were last seen together in St John's Heights about 9:05 p.m. but have not been seen or heard from since.
But Lawrence said the family believes Davis was abducted.
She said the family has been informed that Davis and Lurmot-Barnswell were at home when they "heard intruders".
According to Lawrence, Davis triggered the alarm system installed at the house which was linked to a private security company.
"But by the time (the security company) got there, the house was ransacked, the car was missing and he was missing," she stated.
"It seems as if they were searching for something," she said.
She said police investigators have collected statements from family members and dusted the house for fingerprints, but charged that they have not kept the family abreast of the search for Davis.
Lawrence told The Gleaner there had been no ransom demands and the uncertainty has been "rough" on the family.
"Everybody is concerned and we are just on our toes hoping that he is okay. We just want to know that he is safe," she said.
"We have been sending around his pictures asking everybody to pray for him; we have been sending around (a description of) his car and his licence number asking everybody if they see it to let us know," she revealed.