Ananda Dean’s father says COVID-19 put Jasmine’s case on back burner

June 02, 2020
Lloyd Deen
Lloyd Deen
Jasmine Deen
Jasmine Deen
Protesters holds up a poster of Ananda Dean.
Protesters holds up a poster of Ananda Dean.
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Richard Dean knows too well the pain that Lloyd Deen is currently experiencing. It has been 96 days since Lloyd's visually impaired daughter went missing, and despite numerous attempts to find her, she is yet to be located. Richard's daughter, Ananda Dean, 11, went missing on September 17, 2008.

"Everyone knows that I have been through it before, and honestly, I wouldn't want to be in Mr Deen's position right now. Her case is being put on the back burner now, and if one and two persons don't post about it, it is like you not hearing anything about her," Richard said.

Jasmine, 22, a visually impaired student of The University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona, has been missing since Thursday, February 27. Police have since charged a person of interest in the case who they believe used the young woman's card at an ATM.

More intense police action

Lloyd, in an interview with THE STAR last week, expressed the desire for more intense police action in the search for his daughter. Richard, too, feels that more can be done.

"I can't tell the authorities how to do their work, but I am hoping that they would show more interest whenever our children go missing because if enough effort was being put into matters like these, a lot of our children would return home. All I am asking for is a collective effort from the authorities," he said.

Richard feels that the coronavirus has caused the authorities to shift focus from things that they would normally be doing, and sadly, finding Jasmine Deen has been a casualty.

"Corona comes in, and then Jasmine's case is put on the back burner just like every other missing chid because right now, all the Government is thinking about is the tourism and other things that are going to affect the country," he said.

"Everything now is all about COVID-19. Missing children is not putting any money in the books, and the sad reality is that the relevant authorities are just concerned about the effects of COVID and when the country can open back and how dem can make back dem money. I really sympathise with Mr Deen right now," he added.

Ananda's disappearance and then death in 2008 triggered the creation of the Ananda Deen Alert system, designed to ensure the speedy and safe recovery of a child in the event that he or she cannot be located by a caregiver.

"I think they should recruit and train a special set of police to deal with the Ananda Alert System so their main focus is on missing children. If that is in place, I think we would see better results," Richard said.

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