Two children disappear, one said abducted
For more than a day, Phaedra Martin, the six-year-old who was reportedly abducted in Tuesday's brazen midday attack on Ransford Avenue in St Andrew, remains missing.
The disappearance of five-year-old Iesha Stewart, of Lower Second Street, Kingston 12, since Tuesday, April 21, is also baffling the police who have activated a high alert for her.
In the case of Phaedra, up to late yesterday evening, police could not say for sure whether the child was abducted by criminals or if she was taken as part of ongoing wrangling between the parents.
At the same time, the child's mother, Terri-Anne Pedley, has hit out against media reports surrounding the disappearance of her child, for whom there is reportedly an ongoing custody battle.
"We can't talk to anybody at this moment. Everybody has their own story out there and this is where it has gone," said an unaccommodating Pedley when contacted by The Gleaner late yesterday evening.
Asked to respond to the reports of the custody battle, Pedley said flatly: "No, that is okay. This has nothing to do with what has happened.
"The point is that a child is missing and we are trying to find her. It has no bearing on the background or anything, and this is where the media has gotten out of control, and we cannot accept it anymore," said Pedley, adding that her only interest was to work with the police to have the matter resolved. She said she had no idea who could have taken her child.
"The father gave a story this morning. We read it in the paper and we, as the family, [are] okay with what is in the papers," she said, noting that she was not up to arguing about whatever story was being circulated.
"He was the only one on the scene at the time when the incident happened. I was not there. No one else from the family was there. So whatever story that is out there, it is of no importance to us right now. All we are concerned about is getting Phaedra home," she said, hanging up the phone before another question.
Terri-Anne ignored further calls from The Gleaner.
Phaedra's father, Shim Ron Martin, told reporters that he was walking with the little girl along Ransford Avenue about 1:18 p.m. when two men, one armed with a knife approached him and attempted to take the girl. There was reportedly a struggle and one of the men managed to flee to a waiting car with the screaming child.
According to the father, "They gave me the impression that they had gun. Mi didn't want to go after them and fail."
Yesterday, however, investigators were still approaching the case cautiously. According to police sources, there is an ongoing battle involving the little girl, and there is little information to suggest that the child is in immediate harm. The policeman warned that there might be civil recourse to come from the incident.
In the case of five-year-old Iesha, the cops say she was last seen at home dressed in a pink blouse and a pink and yellow skirt. She has not been heard from since. They are asking anyone knowing her whereabouts to contact the Denham Town Police at 922-6441, Police 119 emergency number or the nearest police station.