Wed | Jun 16, 2021

I have my life back, says mom as missing 5-y-o returns home

Published:Thursday | May 17, 2012 | 12:00 AM

Carl Gilchrist, Gleaner Writer

Ocho Rios, St Ann:

Joy replaced grief Tuesday night as five-year-old Mikalia Manasseh returned home safely to her Warick Mount home in Green Pond, Ocho Rios, after going missing almost 48 hours earlier.

"Well, words can't describe how I'm feeling. I would put it in one word, I would say I'm feeling overwhelmed. I have my life back because she is my life and I want to thank God, I want to thank the whole Jamaica, the whole world," said a relieved mother, Odesia Oliver, as she spoke with The Gleaner at the St Ann's Bay Hospital yesterday.

It was a completely different story a day before.

"The nicest thing I could have for my birthday on May 28 is to have Mikalia back, alive and well," she had wished then. On Wednesday, she thanked God that she got an early birthday gift.

Joy and Relief

On Tuesday, at the St Ann's Bay Infant School where Mikalia is a student, her teacher, Jody-Ann Hutchinson, was so overwhelmed with grief that she broke down as she opened her mouth to speak. But she managed eventually to speak glowingly of the little girl.

But no one would have been more relieved than Mikalia's mother. Obviously hurting from the disappearance of her third child, she has had to endure criticism from persons who saw what they considered a lack of emotion as a negative under the circumstances.

But according to Oliver, she cried when she realised her child was missing and had to be comforted, as any mother would.

Mikalia remains in hospital as multi-agency investigations, involving the police and the Child Development Agency, continue after which a determination will be made. She might be returned to live with her mother and be allowed to live with her father Mitche Manasseh in St Mary, who told The Gleaner: "Today is the happiest day of my life!"

Deputy Superintendent of Police Gary Francis, of the Ocho Rios police, told journalists yesterday afternoon that there were still no suspects but that the investigations have intensified.