Cat helps searchers find missing girl

October 19, 2021
Giovanne Scott explains how he felt after helping to find 13-year-old Winshae Barrett who was abducted last Saturday.
Giovanne Scott explains how he felt after helping to find 13-year-old Winshae Barrett who was abducted last Saturday.
Residents from St Thomas communities including Bath and Spring Bank join police in search of Winshae.
Residents from St Thomas communities including Bath and Spring Bank join police in search of Winshae.
Members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force search the bushes of Stokes Hall.
Members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force search the bushes of Stokes Hall.
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A purring cat was instrumental yesterday in leading a search party to 13-year-old Winshae Barrett who was abducted from her home in St Thomas on Saturday afternoon.

Giovanne Scott, who caught the first glimpse of the missing teenager in the bushes of Spring Bank in the parish, said it was the animal that led him in the direction of the terrified child.

"A group of us was travelling and four of us including the girl uncle turn off on another road and decide say we gonna go up a river stream. Two of them were talking in front of mi and the other youth. One a di youth a show mi a cat and a say probably is not di cat alone over there so mi go pon di other side because a stone did a block di way and when mi look mi see di little girl," he said.

Winshae was abducted from her home in Bath shortly after the security forces and residents had found nine-year-old Phylisa Prussia who resides in the same community. Prussia was abducted last Thursday. The suspected abductor, Davian Bryan, is still at large. Phylisa's dog was also a part of the search party.

Scott, 19, said he and other residents had decided to search the hill after a farmer had alerted them that he had missed a few sheets and water containers from his hut. He said they began journeying minutes after 7 a.m. and had walked for about five miles into the mosquito-infested bushes before they discovered Winshae.

Frightened child

He pointed to a fresh bandage below his right knee stated that he had cut his leg during the process but said the pain disappeared after seeing the frightened child.

"When mi see har she start bawl out fi help and mi run towards har and she just hug mi up. Afterwards she see her uncle and she start bawl more. She had a pink sheet wrapped around her and she had on a black skirt and a plaid man shirt," he said.

Scott said Barrett appeared weak and had a few bruises on her skin which he said may have been mosquito bites. As he sat under a tree, he was hailed as a hero by community members, one of whom stated that she was going to blend him a protein shake. He told THE STAR that he felt a sense of relief that Winshae is safe but is extremely concerned that the suspected abductor is still on the loose.

"Mi sorry mi never find di bwoy who take har way because him may come back come dweet again," he said. Scott said he has not rested since last Thursday when Phylisa went missing.

"Mi and the other man dem walk inna di bush dem until we reach way a Portland. We can't have people like dem here inna di place man. The poor little girl was so weak when we see her. Is bamboos we had to use and make a hammock and carry her out. Mi feel it to mi bone," he said.

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